• Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

New York Bitcoin Mining Bill Gathers more Support

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Mar 4, 2022

Two more assembly members have expressed their support for a New York state proposal that aims to suspend proof-of-work (PoW) mining, powered by fossil fuels, across the state for three years. Members Ken Zebrowski and Amy Paulin have decided to add their names to the existing 43 other people who have cosponsored the bill A7389B. Not only would the bill impose a three-year suspension on mining at fossil fuel power plants, but it would also require the assessment of the crypto mining industry of the state by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The purpose of the assessment would be to determine the impact of crypto mining on air quality, water and greenhouse gas emissions.

Anna Kelles, the New York State Representative, had stated back in February that the assessment of the NYSDEC would provide information for determining whether an outright ban on mining would be appropriate for ensuring that the industry does not stand in their way of achieving their climate goals. The legislation had been put forward to the state legislature in May last year. The bill would have to be sponsored by a majority of the assembly members for it to be sent to the governor where it can be approved into law.

There are a total of 150 assembly members and as of now, only 45 of them have sponsored it, which means there is still a long way to go before it can come into effect. JumaaneWilliams, gubernatorial candidate, has also expressed his support for the law because of environmental concerns and what he considers as the harmful impact of mining operations on the economy. The PoW crypto mining method utilizes computers that are designed primarily for performing the mathematical equations that can be used for creating new blocks. The most well-known proof-of-mining blockchains that exist today are none other than Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

However, it is expected that Ether would make a switch to the proof-of-stake (PoS) process this year, which means it would eliminate the power-hungry mining process. For years, environmentalists have been talking about the environmental impact of the proof-of-work mining method. But, statistics indicate that Bitcoin mining is only responsible for 0.08% of the CO2 emissions in the world. Furthermore, Kristian Csepcsar, Slush Pool’s chief marketing officer, has said that most of the focus on green mining is nothing more than marketing noise because of the dubious or opaque processes that are used for producing green energy.

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Businesses in the state of New York had requested Kathy Hochul, the Governor, back in October last year to deny permits to crypto miners for setting up their operations at defunct power plants. They had cited reasons like the climate goals of the state, the increasing e-waste problem and the immense power requirements as reasons for the rejection. Even the crypto regulations currently being developed in Europe had text for banning PoW mining because of its power-hungry aspect, but it was removed after the protest from the crypto community.

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