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New York lawmakers have passed a moratorium that seeks to bar Bitcoin mining operations for two years in order to ease environmental concerns.
Early Friday, the New York State Senate passed a bill banning proof-of-work (PoW) mining that uses non-renewable power. This move by the state Assembly seeks to correct some of the environmental concerns brought about by the engagement of digital currencies. Before the Bitcoin mining moratorium by the state Senate, the New York State Assembly had passed the bill prohibiting new mining operations based on carbon energy for two years. This took place between late April and early last month. However, the ban exempts existing mining firms or those already in the middle of permit renewal processes.
The bill’s sponsor, Dem. Sen. Kevin Parker further explained that only one plant currently in operation falls into the exemption category. He however stated that there also exists a pending application likely to be put on hold until the conclusion of a study. This study refers to New York’s extensive research into the environmental impact of PoW mining.
A Closer Look at How New York State Bitcoin Mining Moratorium Came to Be
The prescription bill seemingly defied the odds en route to becoming a thing of reality, aided by a 36-27 favorable Senate vote. Many did not expect the bill to get past the committee during its formative phase since a similar version presented in 2021 also failed. Also, the bill had not secured the backing of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee. At the last meeting of the session, the committee’s chair, Sen. Todd Kaminsky, shared his concerns. According to Kaminsky, the bill could trigger negative economic consequences for the New York state if the public views it as hostile to crypto. In his own words:
“I’d like to do everything we can to make crypto mining more eco-friendly, and there’s great innovators doing that now. But I think this [crypto mining bill] will be seen as extremely hostile … I think it’s going to lead to really deleterious economic consequences for New York if people perceive it as being hostile to crypto.”
However, the Bitcoin mining bill eventually scaled through a few hours before the legislative session concluded. Regardless, New York Governor Kathy Hochul must sign the bill before it becomes law. Interestingly, many expect Hochul to sign the bill as soon as possible. If this happens, New York will become the first state in the US to ban blockchain technology infrastructure.
According to Chamber of Digital Commerce president Perianne Boring, New York will suffer some consequences of the ban. Boring believes that the state could lose several related jobs to other states. Consequently, this could weaken the Empire state’s economy.