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New York passes bill to block crypto mining using carbon-energy

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TL;DR Breakdown

  • The New York State Assembly has unanimously passed a cryptocurrency mining moratorium bill.
  • The proposed legislation would prevent an increase in crypto mining activity in the state based on non-renewable energy.
  • The bill still needs to be passed by the State Senate.

Environmentalists won a small victory in New York on Tuesday when the State Assembly passed a bill that seeks to crack down on cryptocurrency mining activities in the state.

The Assembly has passed the cryptocurrency mining moratorium bill sponsored by Democrat Anna Kelles. The bill seems to prohibit new permits and expansions for proof-of-work (PoW) mining facilities on carbon-based energy sources. This is to enable the state to study the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining and come up with better regulations.

The bill puts forward a two-year ban on existing proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining operations from expanding as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation conducts an environmental impact study.

What this bill is really about, in a nutshell, is just a pause on the practice of shutting down inefficient fossil fuel-based power plants. A tiny fraction of an enormous industry. A very small percent. Allow everything else to flourish.

Democrat Anna Kelles.

The bill was proposed to enable the state to meet its statutory carbon goals. However, many fear it could trigger the departure of Bitcoin mining companies and related benefits, such as employment.

Will New York shut down Bitcoin mining?

The bill has yet to pass the State Senate, which previously passed a broader and more stringent version of it last year. It also must be signed by Gov. Hochul, who has yet to take a position on the legislation.

Within a year, the bill has mandated the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to conduct a comprehensive General Environmental Impact Statement on proposed PoW mining sites in New York.

According to Democratic legislator Anna Kelles, the bill will enable New York to meet the objectives set by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) in 2019.

The future of that mining facility is now in the hands of New York state’s 2019 blockbuster climate legislation, the Climate Leadership, and Community Protection Act. Greenidge Generation, which operates the plant in Yates County, is currently applying for air emissions and acid rain permits from New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

If the department finds that the site does not meet climate law – and the greenhouse gas reduction targets it contains – and refuses to renew permits, it could establish a precedent that prevents other crypto mining locations from opening up around the state.

John Lincoln

John Lincoln

Lincoln contributes blockchain and crypto perspectives that meet the industry's selective information needs in a timely, undiluted fashion. His greatest wish is to share transformational technology through an engaging and easy-to-read style, making complex topics accessible to all.

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