New York State now has stricter laws on crypto mining thanks to Kathy Hochul, the state’s governor. The measure imposes a two-year freeze on the issuance of new permits for mining operations that use proof of work and are powered by carbon-based fuel.
The bill was passed by the New York Senate in June, but Hochul had yet to sign it because of ferocious industry lobbying, Bloomberg said.
Hochul said in a message,
“I will ensure that New York remains the center of financial innovation while also taking important steps to prioritize protecting our environment.”
Upstate New York gets attention for mining
Last June, the General Assembly rejected an earlier draft crypto mining law that required a three-year ban on a wider range of mining facilities. Republican Councilman Robert Smullen and other opponents of the current version of the moratorium called it “anti-tech.”
Due to the accessibility of abandoned manufacturing facilities and power plants with underutilized electrical infrastructure, Upstate New York has become attractive to companies that “mine” digital currencies such as Bitcoin.
Hochul, who is guiding the state toward aggressive climate goals, claimed the ban is a critical step to prevent the industry’s rising emissions from restarting aging power plants.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation will conduct an investigation into the environmental impacts of cryptocurrency mining activities as a result of the new law.
This year, the issue sparked intense debate at the Capitol, with industry asking Hochul to oppose the legislation and environmental groups urging lawmakers to support it.
Well, Bankman-Fried had been trying to persuade New York regulators to allow his exchange to operate in the state following the collapse of the FTX. He also supported a super-PAC who spent $1 million to support Antonio Delgado, Ms. Hochul’s running mate, in his primary game earlier this year. He’s a major Democratic fundraiser.
New York’s previous crypto regulations
The move in New York comes months after some other states changed their regulations to welcome the industry more and offer tax breaks to attract cryptocurrency mining activity after China cracked down on the practice last year.
But it also comes at a time when the Bitcoin industry is experiencing serious volatility and may be at a crossroads.
An important part of the cryptocurrency economy is Bitcoin mining, which uses powerful computers to solve difficult math problems to validate transactions.
While amateurs could previously mine coins at home, the complexity of equations and energy requirements have increased dramatically with Bitcoin’s rise in value and popularity.