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Bitcoin Mining-Ban Bill Advances in New York State Assembly

By Laura Nahmias and Josh Saul

Members of the New York State Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee voted Tuesday to advance legislation that would impose a two-year moratorium on an energy-intensive type of cryptocurrency mining in the Empire State. 

Cables connected to a mining rig at the Minto cryptocurrency mining center in Nadvoitsy, Russia, on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. Bitcoin extended its five-week slide from an all-time high with risk sentiment across global financial markets dwindling. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

The assembly bill would establish “a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining operations that use proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions.” It would still have to be passed by the entire Assembly and State Senate and signed by Governor Kathy Hochul before it would become law. Proof-of-work mining has been criticized by climate advocates for its large energy consumption. 

The vote came about a week before the March 31 deadline for the state to rule on whether to grant pollution permits to a power plant in upstate New York that provides electricity to Greenidge Generation Holdings Inc.’s crypto mining operation.

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