Kathy Hochul Signs off on Bill Banning Crypto Mining in New York

Kathy Hochul, New York Governor has signed legislation establishing a two-year moratorium on cryptocurrency mining operations in the state. 

According to a tweet by the governor on Tuesday, the law is set to prohibit the Environmental Conservation Law permit from being issued for two years to firms that use proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions.

In addition, Hochul said she will ensure that New York continues to be the center of financial innovation, while also taking important steps to prioritize the protection of the environment.

Similarly, the legislation will allow the issuance of permits for electric energy facilities. The facilities must use alternatives to carbon-based fuels like hydropower and as such enhance the growth and business development of the industry.

Meanwhile, in June, the New York Senate passed a bill stating that all new proof-of-work mining operations that rely on carbon-based fuel to power their activities will be facing a two-year ban.

Opposition to the ban

At the time, New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams opposed the move because of the financial damage it would bring to the people of the state. Another opposition to the bill has described it as anti-tech and argued that it will curb the growth of the industry in the Empire State.

Perianne Boring, CEO of the Chamber of Digital Commerce criticized Hochul for signing the moratorium into law, saying this will set a dangerous precedent as no other industry in New York has been sidelined for its energy usage.

Before this approved version, an earlier edition of the bill which proposed a three-year ban was kicked against by the Assembly in June last year. Notably, according to data compiled by the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) in December 2021, New York is the fourth largest contributor to hashing power in the United States.

In another recent analysis by the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF), 38% of the total energy consumption in Bitcoin mining came from renewable sources while fossil fuels produced about 62% of all the energy used by Bitcoin since January 2022.