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New York State Assembly to Halt Non-Renewable PoW Mining for Two Years

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • The New York State Assembly passed a bill that imposes a two-year moratorium on fossil-fired mining.
  • The Department of Environmental Conservation will make an environmental impact assessment.
  • The bill faces the Democrat-held state Senate next
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The New York State Assembly has imposed a two-year moratorium on proof-of-work Bitcoin mining citing environmental concerns.

The bill will halt the expansion of mines using non-renewable energy. An assembly committee voted to advance the bill to a full vote of the legislative body.

Environmental impact statement review

The Department of Environmental Conservation will make an environmental impact assessment into the amount of electricity consumed by each PoW mining operation, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants released, the anticipated increase in these levels, the amount of water usage, water quality, and other impacts on ecological and public health.

The bill must now head to the Democrat-held state Senate and then to Governor Kathy Hochul for approval.

Once the bill is passed, the Department of Public Service will not approve new applications or issue new permits to carbon-based mining facilities for two years.

The release noted, “This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to all permits or renewal applications filed after such date.”

Democrat Dr. Anna Kelles spearheaded the bill to achieve the targets set by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The goal of the 2019 Act is to eliminate all man-made climate pollution in New York State.

New York’s mining domination

The US dominates global Bitcoin mining with 35.4% of the average monthly hashrate share as of last Aug. Within the U.S., 19.9% of Bitcoin’s hashrate is in New York. After New York, 18.7% comes from Kentucky, followed by 17.3% in Georgia, and 14% in Texas, according to a report by CNBC.

Source: Foundry USA/CNBC

Data shows that the majority of the electricity generation in New York State is comes from natural gas, nuclear power, and hydroelectricity.

Source:EIA.gov

Nic Carter, co-founder of Castle Island Ventures said: “Bitcoin mining in New York is actually very low in carbon intensity, given its hydropower, and, as a consequence, if New York were to ban Bitcoin mining in the state, it would probably raise the carbon intensity of the Bitcoin network overall. It would be the complete opposite of what they wanted.”

Some worry that the moratorium may make New York a less attractive mining destination, especially when Fort Worth in Texas announced that it had become the first city government in the United States to mine Bitcoin.

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Shraddha Sharma
Shraddha is an India-based journalist who worked in business and financial news before diving into the crypto space. As an investment enthusiast, she has also has a keen interest in understanding crypto from a personal finance standpoint.
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