It is a real victory that the defenders of the environment have just won. New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed a bill to regulate the most polluting cryptomining sites. Thus, a two-year moratorium is put in place: it concerns any new permit issued to a fossil fuel power plant, which would seek to mine cryptocurrencies.
If the measure that has just been adopted does not concern “small” bitcoin producers, it has the biggest miners in its sights. In addition, less polluting blockchains such as Ethereum are not affected.
New York prevents the creation of centrals intended for the mining of bitcoin
The site The Verge recalls that a struggling factory in New York State managed to overcome its financial problems by mining Bitcoin. This Finger Lakes plant, dubbed the Greenidge Generating Station, prides itself on “providing a clean and reliable source of energy to the New York State energy grid, and providing the electricity needed to power up to 20,000 homes. and businesses in the region in 2020.”
At the same time, the company explains on its site that it mines Bitcoin and does not hesitate to promote it excessively. Enough to make the defenders of the environment jump, even if it was a question of preserving jobs. Recall that the largest Bitcoin farm in the United States consumes as much as half a nuclear reactor.
The new law now requires New York State to initiate a study on the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining like Bitcoin. However, the Fingers Lakes plant is not affected by the new law, since it is already established.
Passage of Kathy Hochul’s law was far from won
The future of the law adopted by Kathy Hochul was however far from certain. The Blockchain Association recently spent $225,000 lobbying to prevent the project from succeeding. Ironically, some members of the association even financially supported the election of Kathy Hochul as Governor of New York.
While advocates highlight the ecological impact of cryptomining, they also point to the repercussions of siting or transforming a power plant. Noise for local residents and decline in tourism are all negative consequences that could thus be avoided.
Source: The Verge