Jun 3, 2022 - Economy & Business

New York Senate passes Bitcoin mining moratorium

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaking during a press conference at the New York State Capitol.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks during a press conference at the New York State Capitol last summer. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The New York State Senate passed a two-year crypto mining moratorium bill that now moves to Gov. Kathy Hochul's desk.

Why it matters: New York State is home to some of the more onerous cryptocurrency regulations in the country, which some say will stifle a blossoming industry and send it (read jobs) elsewhere.

What's happening: The New York State Senate voted to pass the bill overnight that would establish a two-year moratorium on permitting new crypto mining that uses proof-of-work authentication methods using carbon-based fuel.

  • It would also require an environmental impact study.
  • Mining operations with existing permits would be grandfathered.

Of note: The mining moratorium would come alongside 2015 BitLicense rules for crypto companies which prompted multiple firms to leave the state and shut off operations there.

What they're saying: "Last night, the NYS Senate stood up for our climate and our CLCPA goals joining the actions taken in April by the NYS Assembly despite enormous financial pressure by the crypto industry to kill this bill," New York State Assemblymember Anna Kelles tells Axios.

  • "Now, it is up to Governor Hochul to sign this bill and ensure that we don't let proof-of-work mining in our fossil-fuel based power plants lead to an enormous energy consumption spike in the middle of a climate crisis," she said.

Context: Beijing banned crypto mining in September driving operators of high-powered computer processors to North America. Some set up shop near decommissioned power plants drawing ire from locals for noise and general pollution.

  • Mass migration of bitcoin mining into the U.S. prompted Congress members to write a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency in April, to which crypto industry leaders responded with their own perspective on such activities.

The bottom line: Gov. Hochul now has to sign it.

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