The New York State Senate approved a bill targeting proof-of-work (PoW) bitcoin mining early Friday morning. The move is an approach to correct some of the environmental concerns surrounding cryptocurrencies.
The law, which was passed by the state Assembly last month, would put a two-year embargo on any upcoming carbon-based fuel-powered PoW mining firms in the Empire State.
Existing mining businesses or those in the process of renewing their permits, on the other hand, would be allowed to keep functioning. The bill received a 36-27 vote in the Senate.
According to the bill’s Democratic sponsor, Sen. Kevin Parker, there would be currently only one facility in operation that would be unaffected by the legislation. He also suggested that one pending application could be placed on the table.
New York state will study the environmental impacts of mining
The state will perform a study on the potential environmental implications of proof-of-work mining during the ban.
Many expected the bill to never come out of the committee when the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee failed to discuss it during its final meeting of the session, as it did last year’s version.
Sen. Todd Kaminsky, the committee’s chairman, expressed concern in May that the bill may have “deleterious economic repercussions for New York” if it is perceived as anti-crypto.
Because of the considerable low cost of hydroelectric energy, New York has long been eyed as a desirable location for crypto mining firms to set up plants. In the past years, mining companies have reused decommissioned coal power plants. One such facility, for example, was rebuilt by Greenidge Generation to run on natural gas.
Mining companies in New York have threatened to leave if the moratorium is implemented, noting the relative ease of doing business in more mining-friendly states like Texas.