In a bid to limit the environmental impact caused by Bitcoin mining in the state, the New York State Assembly passed a bill yesterday, placing a two-year ban on all new proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrency mining facilities in its jurisdiction.
The bill was passed as part of New York’s Earth Day Package.
State senator Anna Kelles took to Twitter to announce that the bill she sponsored will also impose a hold on the renewal of the permits to existing PoW crypto facilities that are looking to increase their power consumption.
The ban will extend however only extend to mining operations using carbon-based fuel as a source of power in the state.
With 95 in favour and 52 against, the bill has passed the crucial stage of receiving the State Assembly’s approval. It will now be carried forward by Senator Kevin Parker to gather the support of the State Senate. After this stage, the bill will be delivered to Governor Kathy Hochul, who can choose to sign it into law or veto it.
If implemented as a law, the proposal tasks the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) with presenting a “generic environmental impact statement” to locate, count and assess the effects of PoW miners on greenhouse gas emissions and public health.
The bill was met with staunch opposition from crypto advocacy group Blockchain Association which called upon “pro-tech, pro-innovation, pro-crypto” New Yorkers to write to senators against the bill.
After the passing of the bill, the association argued that a 3-hour discussion regarding its effects took place in the house where they presented “greater opposition to the mining ban than proponents believed.” In a tweet, the advocacy group indicated that it will continue to fight against the “anti-technology bill”.