New York takes steps to freeze crypto mining with new law

New York state has come a step closer to becoming the first in the United States to effectively impose a moratorium on Bitcoin mining.

New York state senators passed a law late Thursday that would freeze state-wide cryptocurrency mining for two years. The law focuses on the proof-of-work authentication that underpins much of the blockchain infrastructure behind Bitcoin, but produces an excessive amount of carbon emissions due to the massive processing power it requires.

The law also includes several other measures that are unpopular with the crypto community. Future miners are required to complete an environmental impact study for state regulators. Another creates about 250 BitLicenses, a controversial business license required in New York for cryptocurrency miners to work in the state.

New York is targeting this sector as a way to help the state achieve its clean energy goals. Proof-of-work mining is carbon intensive and a number of operators in New York have relied on converted fossil fuel plants to generate the processing power needed to create Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Climate and environmentalists praised New York for moving this bill forward. Liz Moran, the New York Policy Advocate for the environmental nonprofit organization EarthJustice, proudly stated that passing the bill was a victory and that it would allow New York to “maintain its status as a leader on the frontier to reverse the climate crisis.” to push.”

“We applaud the [New York] Senate for passing this bill,” Moran said in a statement. “Governor Hochul should not hesitate to sign this bill into law.”

If signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul, the bill would be arguably the most serious attempt to curb the cryptocurrency industry in any state. Hochul, who is up for re-election in November, has not taken a firm stance on cryptocurrency mining, though she has pledged to continue New York’s path to a greener future.

However, according to the New York Times, Hochul has accepted donations from cryptocurrency executives as part of her campaign, including one who operates a former aluminum factory turned crypto mining industry.

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