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New Bitcoin miners not welcome in New York for two years

New Bitcoin miners not welcome in New York for two years

A law has been passed making new bitcoin miners only welcome in New York if they use renewable energy. This does not affect miners already active in the US state.

This measure will be in effect for the next two years, the idea behind it is to promote the emergence of renewable energy and reduce emissions.

From state to country

Democrat Anna Kelles is responsible for Act A7389C , which will impose a two-year moratorium on new crypto mining companies using a carbon-based energy source. A similar bill will most likely also be discussed at national level.

Response crypto industry

Naturally, the crypto industry opposed the bill. The argument: miners could move to other states or even to other countries. This would affect jobs and US 'geopolitical interests'. 

While it will require an adjustment for new miners, the response has been dramatic, as supporters of the bill noted that existing facilities would remain unaffected by the bill, as would facilities that use renewable resources. In addition, this does not apply to home miners.

As per last year's figures from crypto mining pool Foundry USA, 19.9% of the US bitcoin hashrate, the aggregate processing force of excavators, is situated in New York, making it the biggest bitcoin state, trailed by Kentucky, Georgia and Texas.

Expansion not possible

The bill states that the New York Department of Energy "will not approve or issue a new application for a new license ... for a power generating facility that uses carbon-based fuel and that , in whole or in part, behind the electricity meter is the energy consumed or used by cryptocurrency: mining operations that use proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions.

How do you say bitcoin without saying bitcoin?

Another provision would prohibit renewals of existing licenses for similar facilities if the renewal applicant wishes to expand its facility.

The bill also calls on the state to prepare a "general environmental impact statement" that evaluates PoW mining and associated facilities in the state. The reason for this is that New York wants to reduce its emissions by 85% by 2050.

Example Greenidge Generation

The law could pose a serious obstacle to companies like Greenidge Generation, which started up a once-closed coal-fired power plant in upstate New York and converted it to run on natural gas for mining. The use of natural gas to mine bitcoin is not without controversy, many climate scientists and politicians are not fans of this.

While Greenidge Generation's existing operation would not be affected by the new law because the permit application is already pending, it would not be able to expand its operations, and future miners hoping to copy the Greenidge model should not be allowed to do so.

The company claims it has the ability to create high-paying jobs and generate power for the local grid; it has the support of the local electric workers' union, but has been criticized by many environmental groups. In December, Senator Elizabeth Warren sent Greenidge an email expressing her concerns about the impact of Bitcoin mining on the environment and electricity costs.

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