New York offers many shuttered coal plants and cheap energy. This makes it a top spot for miners and anyone looking to set up crypto extraction businesses. However, there are many environmentalists out there that want New York to work against crypto and ban the process of adding it to the blockchain.
New York and Crypto Don’t Always Go Together
Environmentalists have been arguing for years that mining bitcoin is somehow harmful to the world’s atmosphere. They state that by engaging in extraction methods, miners are contributing heavily to carbon emissions and placing the planet in an irreversibly harmful state.
Now, it looks like lawmakers in New York are beginning to listen, and they are proposing a three-year moratorium that would prevent any further crypto mining companies from earning permits to set up shop in the Big Apple.
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Of course, there are many individuals in the crypto industry that feel this is the wrong move to make. They say that such a maneuver would likely put New York on the backburner and cause the state to fall behind when it comes to technological growth. One of these individuals is Kyle Schneps, the director of public policy for Foundry, which is based in Rochester, New York. In an interview, he states:
In the tech space, three years might as well be three centuries. A statewide moratorium that has vague language and captures companies that use mostly renewables is a mistake.
Still, it looks like the government of the state has expressed an openness to the idea of a moratorium. It was cleared by the state Senate last year and is now under consideration by Kathy Hochul, the present governor of New York. A spokesperson for her office explained in a statement:
Governor Hochul is taking bold, nation-leading actions to confront climate change head-on, and DEC (the Department of Environmental Conservation) is actively reviewing proposals regarding the role of cryptocurrency mining in New York’s energy landscape, especially in light of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act… We will work with the legislature on these concerns and review the [cryptocurrency moratorium] legislation.
The moratorium would likely put a huge damper on the present plans of NYC mayor Eric Adams, who has shown himself to be a big fan of cryptocurrency. He is presently accepting his mayoral paychecks in crypto and wants the industry taught in schools to prepare kids for the future of finance. He has also stated that he would like New York to become the crypto hub of the world.
Obey the Climate Laws!
However, Senator Kevin Parker – the Energy Committee chair in New York – says:
It’s an absolute priority… Anything that does not fall in line with the [climate law] can’t continue to operate, and so no one has made an argument to me from the crypto side that their projects are sustainable.