The New York State Assembly is considering a ban on Bitcoin mining due to environmental concerns
The New York State Assembly is scheduled to vote shortly on a ban on cryptocurrency mining operations that employ Proof-of-Work (PoW) authentication to authenticate blockchain transactions; if passed, the measure will then be referred to the Senate for approval.
The law, A. 7389C / S. 6486C, was introduced in the framework of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which mandates the state to “cut greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050 and achieve net zero emissions in all sectors of the economy by that time.”
The proposed rule states as follows: “Continued and expanded operation of data centres using proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions will significantly increase energy consumption in the State of New York, and it is reasonable to believe that the resulting greenhouse gas emissions will irreparably harm compliance with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which is prohibited by state law.”
If both chambers adopt the measure, it would require rigorous general environmental impact evaluations and essentially prohibit all proof-of-work blockchain mining enterprises that use fossil fuels, including Bitcoin (BTC) mining, for a three-year timeframe.
The proposed measure is presently the subject of a petition organised by New York people opposed to it, urging their fellow citizens to vote against it. According to the petition:
“If this bill becomes law, New York will forego the unique prospects for economic development and the spread of renewable energy that Bitcoin mining brings. This might create a precedent for other states to repeat the error.”
The petitioners are signing a pre-configured message that reads: “As a voter in your area, I respectfully request that you vote nay on (A.7389C / S. 6486C), the measure being pushed in a last-ditch attempt to regulate the burgeoning crypto mining business.”
Given that the bill would effectively ban all Proof-of-Work blockchain mining operations that rely on fossil fuels, it would harm firms like Stronghold Digital Mining (NASDAQ: SDIG).
Notably, the US business just begun mining Bitcoin using electricity generated by decades-old coal power facilities. The actions are part of the company’s attempt to keep its area clean.
Elsewhere, in mid-March, the European Union Parliament decided against a ban on the PoW method that underpins cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The decision was prompted by fears that Bitcoin’s increasing popularity will result in increased energy consumption for mining and, therefore, a greater effect on the environment.