New York lawmakers have passed a bill (A7389C) that would temporarily ban certain bitcoin mining operations within the state. The legislation, which is still awaiting a signature or veto by Governor Kathy Hochul, imposes a two-year moratorium on new licenses for cryptocurrency mining operations that run on carbon-based power sources. New York will be the first state in the country to have banned blockchain technology infrastructure if the bill passes. The state has been a popular center for crypto mining due to its cooler climate, low electricity prices, and abundance of hydroelectricity. Ethereum also uses proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions but is planning a switch to the much less energy-intensive proof-of-stake mechanism.
Lawmakers backing the legislation say they are looking to curb the state’s carbon footprint by cracking down on mines that use electricity from power plants that burn fossil fuels. If it passes — for two years, unless a proof-of-work mining company uses 100% renewable energy, it would not be allowed to expand or renew permits, and new entrants would not be allowed to come online.
The net effect of this, according to [Perianne Boring, founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce], would be to weaken New York’s economy by forcing businesses to take jobs elsewhere.