The NY State Assembly approved a bill imposing a 2-year ban on all PoW crypto mining plants within the state using fossil fuels for their operations this Tuesday. Once enforced, the bill will restrict the usage of carbon-based power to energy-intensive bitcoin mining operations amidst growing environmental concerns.
A Bill for Sustainable Crypto Mining
Introduced by District 125 Representative Anna Kelles, the proposed bill would enforce a 2-year approval hold for new Bitcoin mining facilities, in addition to preventing permit renewals of Bitcoin miners using carbon-based energy, especially if they wish to increase load capacity. It has already acquired the required support, with 95 votes in favor and 52 against. The Bill will next be transferred to Governor Kathy Hochul, effectively converting the bill into law.
Furthermore, the DEC(Department for Environmental Conservation) would be additionally charged with drafting a statement on the general environment impact weighted on the parameters such as number, locality, and energy consumption. The committee will also address issues like PoW-generated greenhouse gas emissions and their detrimental effect on public health.
Global Reactions and Updates
The global crypto community has been apprehensive of the NY BIll, with crypto industry proponents Blockchain Association urging the “pro-tech, pro-innovation, pro-crypto” NY citizens to present opposition against the bill. The petition has garnered significant support according to their claims. The association is also focusing its resources on the New York Senate to put an end to what it dubs an “anti-technology bill”.
Bans on proof-of-work crypto mechanisms similar to the NY bill are appearing all across the world. Growing global concerns almost led to the enactment of the Markets in Crypto Assets(MiCA) bill across the EU Parliament in March, with lawmakers going as far as considering a ban on crypto trading in order to enforce crypto mining regulations.
Bitcoin mining and its underlying Proof of work method of operation raise environmental concerns due to high energy consumption. Green power methods are the way, along with eco-friendly ways of carbon reduction for the sustainable development of the technology as well as preservation of the earth’s environment. Blockchain solutions such as carbon marketplaces may offer an initiative, but bitcoin mining farms shall also have to come forward with effective green solutions.