On Friday, New York lawmakers passed a bill banning crypto mining operations that utilize carbon-based power sources. If this bill becomes law there will be a two-year prohibition on cryptocurrency mining operations. The bill is now before Governor Kathy Hochul who can either sign or veto it.
According to Perianne Boring, the founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, this bill would make New York the first state in the country to ban blockchain technology infrastructure.
As explained in the bill, the state of New York implemented the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to help regulate and improve the future of the environment. Since cryptocurrency mining operations require a great deal of energy, a new section of the environmental conservation will be added. It states that new applications, new permits and the renewal of existing permits will not be approved “…for an electric generating facility that utilizes a carbon-based fuel and that provides, in whole or in part, behind-the-meter electric energy consumed or utilized by a cryptocurrency mining operation that uses proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions…”
Boring mentioned how the bill could have a negative impact on the economy of the state. “Bitcoin mining operations are providing high-paying and high-grade, great jobs for local communities. One of our members, their average pay is $80,000 a year.”
Boring further addressed how New York is a leader when it comes to state legislation. Whether the rest of the country is going to try and copy New York’s lead in this industry is another topic of discussion.
Others in the crypto space are not happy with the possible new law. Former executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation, Bruce Fenton, tweeted, “No government has the right to tell you what software to run.”
Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum founder, agreed with Fenton’s tweet and replied with, “The government picking and choosing which specific applications are an okay use of electricity or not is a bad idea. Better to just implement carbon pricing, and use some of the revenues to compensate low-income users.”