June 3, 2022, New York: The State Senate passed a new bill to halt new permits for some of the fossil fuel power plants to be utilized in Bitcoin mining. Thus, the Bitcoin Mining boom in the state of New York has hit a roadblock. The new measure is expected to initiate a study about the impact of mining activities on the environment. The study was passed by the New York State Assembly earlier this year.
The crypto industry is set to split Senate Democrats by promising new jobs. Decisions about whether the new moratorium would come with greater economic or environmental costs are still underway. Discussions took place until late in the evening as the State Senate came closer to the legislative deadline.
The bill is expected to come across another test as it is gradually heading towards Governor Kathy Hochul to veto or sign. Kathy Hochul bagged a nearly US$ 40,000 donation in May 2022 from a chief executive of an unnamed firm. The firm currently operates a former aluminum plant that was turned into a modern crypto-mining facility.
Multiple mining operations have set up their stores in the U.S. after China implemented stringent norms to control bitcoin mining in 2021. With the rising presence of various retired fossil fuel plants and abundant hydroelectricity plants, New York has quickly become a home to Bitcoin mining as many companies are restoring these plants into mining facilities.
Some of the residents and environmental advocates have objected to the fossil-fuel resurgence in New York. They said that they were concerned about the revival of these many fossil fuel plants with the help of the Bitcoin industry. It can damage the ecosystem and disturb New York’s efforts to battle climate change.
Today, the new bill helped in establishing a two-year moratorium on new permits for Bitcoin mining activities that utilize a specific energy-consuming approach to authenticate transactions on the overall blockchain. The approach is also known as proof-of-work and it usually supports the two most renowned cryptocurrencies, namely, Ethereum and Bitcoin.
With this new approach, Bitcoin miners will be able to utilize innovative hardware solutions to solve complicated puzzles. This, in turn, would help them in earning crypto tokens. But, the process uses a high amount of energy. The Bitcoin network would rank about 32nd in the entire world if it was its own nation- in terms of electricity usage between the Netherlands and Argentina.
The demand for energy is also considered to be a threat to meet the sustainable climate goals set up by the New York State back in 2019. The State aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by the end of 2050.
New York’s Finger Lake region houses the Greenidge Generating Station, which has become an immensely popular flashpoint for residents. They are mainly concerned about the impact of cryptocurrency mining on the environment. Greenidge was transformed to run on gas and was then changed to a mining hub.