Bitcoin: New York Assembly to vote on BTC mining moratorium this week

Namrata Shukla
Bitcoin mining
Source: Pixabay

The problems for Bitcoin and mining are only rising as the New York state legislation was citing environmental concerns to proof-of-work [PoW] mining in the state. The state has been at it for two years and as New York Assembly undergoes voting soon, several crypto advocacy groups were reminded of this concern.

Per reports, Blockchain Association and Crypto Council for innovation proposed a bill S6486D/A7389C that suggested establishing a two-year moratorium on cryptocurrency utilizing a proof-of-work consensus mechanism.

It also aimed at amending the existing environmental conservation law to comply with the 2019 climate Leadership and Community protection Act, which implied a 40% greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030. There are several studies like the IPCC one that suggests detrimental effects on the environment if Bitcoin mining does not move to renewable sources of energy by 2030.

However, analysts also believed that Bitcoin was driving demand for renewable energy. Tech entrepreneur and quasi-environmentalist Daniel Batten recently argued that Bitcoin mining incentivizes building renewable energy plants and helps decarbonize power grids.

While there are opposers and supporters of Bitcoin and mining, the co-sponsors of the bill believed that PoW mining stood in the way of reaching the goal implied during the 2019 summit. Therefore, the proposal of a moratorium on mining permits issuance and renewal.

Additionally, the bill also detailed certain reservations. As noted in one of the clauses,

“the department shall not approve an application to renew an existing permit […] if the renewal application seeks to increase or will allow or result in an increase in the amount of electric energy consumed or utilized by a cryptocurrency mining operation.”

This could mean that mining businesses’ applications seeking to preserve the existing capabilities already licensed by the state would not be subject to new restrictions. The bill also aimed at “electric generating facilities” that utilized carbon-based fuel, thus, excluding renewable energy mining operations. However, it would include cover facilities like Greenidge Generation’s converted natural gas power plant near Seneca Lake, which has been at the center of court battles in recent years.

While there was not an official schedule available for the New York Assembly vote, people within the city are calling out “pro-tech, pro-innovation, pro-crypto” residents of the state to vote against the moratorium. If the bill passes the Assembly vote, it will be forwarded to the State Senate before making it to the governor. Only the governor has the power to veto it.