Go Eco-Friendly or Ship Out: A Closer Look at the Meaning of NY State’s Mining Moratorium

Experts predict that the anti-technology legislation is expected to accelerate a rapid shift to renewable energy 

26th April will go down in history as one of the days when New York took a huge move towards shaping the future of mining. The assembly voted for a 2-year moratorium on cryptocurrency mining that uses fossil-generated energy. This development, depending on how you look at it, is likely to usher in a new trend in legislation or accelerate digital assets’ shift towards an eco-friendly path. 

Moratorium Issued with Additional Assessment 

The lower chamber in the State of New York legislature adopted a bill that would put on ice mining operations that use a proof of work (POW) consensus mechanism for two years. This ban includes the renewal of current permits. 

The bill was marketed by sponsors as an important part of complying with the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% by 2030. The bill also required the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to assess energy use, GHG emissions of POW miners, and impact on public health. 

Next, the bill will head to the New York State Senate and ultimately to the Governor, Kathy Hochul, who can sign it into law or veto it. 

However, the Blockchain Association, an advocacy group, holds the view that the bill can still be knocked down in the upper house. In the assembly, the debate was very heated, ending with a vote where 95 were in favor and 52 against. 

Mining Moratorium Triggers Huge Alarm from C Crypto Community

The bill triggered a major alarm from the crypto community. The Crypto Council for Innovation was quick to raise its concerns, saying that the move is likely to suppress innovation. 

Kyle Scheps, the director of the public policy of Foundry, indicated that the move is only singling out one industry while there are so many others that use fossil fuels in the state. He added that the legislators also declined to appreciate the benefits that blockchain would bring to the state. 

John Belizaire, the CEO of green data center developer Soluna Computing, pointed out that the legislation will bring some cooling effect on crypto mining. Here is what he had to say: 

We would encourage the state to participate in open dialogue with forward-looking companies to learn how crypto mining can help push forward … renewable energy development.”

Eco-Friendly Energy is the Future 

According to John Warren, the CEO of GEM Mining, which indicates it operates 32,000 miners, with 97% of them being carbon neutral, the moratorium shows how the New York legislature is led by “radical and fringe” who are “ignorant to new innovations ..” added Warren. 

The move is likely to have a limited impact because other states are already encouraging mining in their jurisdiction. “We have seen the opposite as legislators … openly encourage crypto operations in their states…” insisted warren. 

In a way, the environmental push from the New York legislature is a case that will no doubt persist on crypto mining, fossil fuel use, and shift to eco-friendly energy. According to John Belizaire, this legislation could turn into a special ingredient for green energy adoption. 

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