The law, which received 95 votes in favor and 52 votes against, will now be referred to the Senate. If passed, it will be sent to the governor, who will have the option of vetoing it or signing it into law.
On Tuesday, the lower chamber of the New York State legislature enacted legislation placing a two-year embargo on crypto mining operations that utilize carbon-based fuel to confirm proof-of-work (PoW) blockchain transactions. The bill intends to solve environmental difficulties caused by PoW's high energy use.
"Not a Ban on Crypto Mining"
Bill A7389C, presented by Democratic Assemblymember Anna Kelles, was passed to control more PoW miners who mine cryptocurrency using carbon-based electricity.
According to it, no new permits will be provided to such miners for two years, and existing carbon-powered facilities will not be allowed to renew their licenses if they decide to raise the amount of energy they require for mining.
The measure also mandates that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) undertake a full examination of all crypto mining locations in the state to ensure that they comply with the state's environmental regulations.
Individuals mining cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are unaffected by the moratorium, which only applies to "electric generating facilities" – such as power plants – that require a DEC permission.
The Assembly failed to pass an earlier version of the bill in June 2021, which asked for a three-year embargo on a larger range of mining facilities.
The bill was passed as part of the "Earthday package," according to Kelles, who clarified that the moratorium is not a crypto ban or a restriction on crypto mining.
"Curb Emissions: The Wrong Answer"
The Blockchain Association had drafted a petition before the bill was passed, asking people to email their representatives to oppose it. The group believes it will put an end to the crypto mining sector in the state since miners would just move their operations to neighboring states, resulting in no positive influence on climate change.
Kristin Smith, the association's executive director, stated that evicting miners from the state is the incorrect approach to reducing emissions and bringing energy prices under control. She is concerned that the proposed prohibition will "slow the expansion of the sector in New York."