New York bans crypto mining using non-renewable power
The crypto mining moratorium bill passed on Monday banned all new Proof-of-Work crypto mining firms based on non-renewable energy sources for two years
By Shashank Bhardwaj
Bitcoin mining machines at the Whinstone US Bitcoin mining facility in Rockdale, Texas, on October 10, 2021. Experts say rule of law and cheap electricity in the US are a draw for bitcoin miners, whose energy-gulping computers race to unlock units of the currency.
Image: Mark Felix /AFP via Getty Images
Assembly bill A7389C banning all new crypto mining facilities based on non-renewable energy sources was passed on Monday in the New York State Assembly. Democrat Anna Kelles sponsored the bill. The assembly committee has voted on advancing the bill to a full vote of the legislative body. A corresponding bill is already underway in the Senate.
Under the bill's provisions, any crypto mining firm using carbon-based energy sources won’t be able to set up its operations in the state. The existing mining facilities would remain unaffected by the bill, including those facilities that employ renewable energy sources. The bill specifies, “(the New York Energy Department) shall not approve a new application for or issue a new permit ... for an electric generating facility that uses a carbon-based fuel, and that provides, in whole or in part, behind-the-meter electric energy consumed or utilised by cryptocurrency mining operations that use proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions."
The other provision under the bill disallows any crypto mining firm from renewing existing permits in case they seek to scale their facilities. The bill also requires the state to prepare a generic environmental impact statement to evaluate PoW mining and mining facilities operating in the state.
Those in favour of the bill said the mining operations would add to the carbon footprint and prohibit New York from reaching its carbon emission goals. The crypto community fiercely opposed the bill and even warned the government that its implementation might cause miners to relocate. The relocation, in turn, can impact the job prospects and geopolitical interests of the US state.
John Olsen, New York’s representative at the Blockchain Association, said, “The intention of the bill is to prevent new mining operations that would draw power from fossil fuel generation, even if it’s partial. The impact, though, is really just economic in the sense that good-paying jobs are going to be going to other states, and mining operations that would face less regulatory scrutiny, in terms of environmental impact, would be setting up shop (in another state).”
The bill comes in the wake of the BMC publishing its latest findings of crypto mining steadily moving toward greener and more sustainable resources.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash