New York Senate Passes Bill Targeting Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work Mining

Paigambar Mohan Raj
Source: UToday

To address some of the environmental issues surrounding cryptocurrencies, the New York State Senate passed a bill targeting proof-of-work (PoW) mining early Friday morning. PoW method of consensus is used by Bitcoin (BTC) and some other crypto projects to validate transactions.

The bill, which was passed by the state Assembly last month, would put a two-year moratorium on any new carbon-based fuel-powered PoW mining ventures in New York, however existing mining companies or those in the process of renewing their permits would be permitted to continue operating. The measure passed the Senate with a 36-27 majority.

According to Sen. Kevin Parker, the legislation’s Democratic sponsor, there is now just one such facility in operation, which would be unaffected by the law. He also mentioned that one pending application might be placed on hold until the research is completed.

After the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee failed to discuss the bill at its final meeting of the session, many expected it to die in committee, as it did last year’s version. Sen. Todd Kaminsky, the committee’s head, expressed concern in May that the measure might have negative economic ramifications for New York if it is perceived as anti-Bitcoin and anti-crypto.

However, the measure was able to reach the full Senate floor for a vote only hours before the legislative session ended at midnight, owing to a last-minute referral from the Environmental Conservation Committee to the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee on Thursday evening.

Because of the low cost of hydroelectric electricity, New York has long been viewed as a desirable location for Bitcoin and crypto mining companies to set up shop. In recent years, mining companies have reused decommissioned coal power plants for their use.

If the ban is enacted, mining businesses in New York have vowed to leave, citing the relative ease of doing business in more mining-friendly states like Texas.