New York Enacts Law Partially Prohibiting Crypto Mining

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New York has become the first state in the country to impose a two-year moratorium on proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining operations powered by fossil fuels.

On Tuesday, Governor Kathy Hochul, who was elected to a full term in early November, signed the contentious environmental ban. Hochul stated in her statement that she wanted New York to remain a center of financial innovation, but she also emphasized the importance of environmental protection. In early June, the New York State Senate passed the bill.

Because of its cheap hydroelectric energy sources, New York has become an appealing location for crypto mining firms. Miners also took advantage of the state’s abundance of closed fossil-fuel power plants.

Local environmental groups, however, have slammed crypto businesses for consuming a lot of energy and jeopardizing the state’s climate goals by re-firing fossil-fuel-burning power plants and significantly increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, some upstate New York residents began to complain about a nearby Bitcoin mining facility turning Seneca Lake into a hot tub.

The cryptocurrency mining industry strongly opposed the bill, claiming that it would stifle the industry’s growth. Nevertheless, the moratorium enacted is not as severe as the previously proposed bills, which would prohibit any cryptocurrency mining activity in the state for three years.

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