The power consumption required for Bitcoin (BTC) mining has always been a controversial issue, especially for regulators. On this occasion, it was the New York State Assembly that approved the ban on new Bitcoin mining operations that do not use green energy. Here are the details about it.
In principle, what was recently approved was a bill that would ban for two years all new Proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrency mining facilities in the state that use non-green energy. That is, carbon-based fuel to power its operations.
What do we know about the bill passed by the New York State Assembly against Bitcoin mining?
This bill was sponsored by Assembly Member Anna Kelles. The bill gathered the necessary support, with 95 in favor and 52 against. Now, Senator Kevin Parker will bring it for a vote in the State Senate. If successful, then it will be turned over to Gov. Kathy Hochul, who can veto the bill or sign it into law.
“I am thrilled that my bill (…) A7389C/S6486D has just been approved in the Assembly as part of the #Earthday package! Thank you to all the co-sponsors and advocates who helped bring this bill to the floor for a vote! New York State Assembly approved a bill against Bitcoin mining”, say Kelles.
The bill would impose a two-year suspension on the approval of any new Bitcoin mining venture. It would also prevent the renewal of permits issued to existing PoW cryptocurrency miners using carbon-sourced energy if they try to increase the amount of electricity consumed.
On the other hand, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) would, under the bill, be responsible for preparing a “generic environmental impact statement». This declaration would provide guidelines for numbering, locating and evaluating the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of PoW miners and their impact on public health.
What has been the response to the measure taken by the Assembly?
Groups like the Blockchain Association had already organized to reject the bill, even before it was passed. This association had appealed to “pro-technology, pro-innovation and pro-cryptocurrency” New York residents to oppose the bill. This association is known to promote the use of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general.
In that regard, the association said that about three hours of debate on the bill took place. According to them, this demonstrates a “greater opposition to the mining ban than the proponents believed.” They also commented that they will direct their energy to the New York Senate to end what they call the “anti-technological bill”.
Proposals to ban PoW cryptocurrencies for environmental reasons are becoming more and more common. A similar proposal was narrowly defeated in the European Parliament at the end of March. The latter became known as the Crypto Asset Markets Bill (MiCA). In this bill, lawmakers even considered the possibility of banning BTC trading to enforce the proposed mining ban.
Therefore, we could expect more cases like that of the NY Assembly in the future as long as a more environmentally friendly alternative to mining Bitcoin does not emerge.