in an effort to address some of the environmental concerns seen around cryptocurrencies, the New York State Senate passed a bill targeting proof-of-work (PoW) mining on early Friday morning
After the bill was passed by the state Assembly last month, a two-year moratorium would be imposed on new PoW mining projects powered by carbon-based fuel in the Empire State. Existing mining firms or those currently undergoing the permit renewal process would be allowed to continue operations. The Senate voted in favor of the bill, 36-27.
According to the bill’s Democratic sponsor, Sen. Kevin Parker, there is currently only one such plant in current operation, which will not be impacted by the bill. There is another pending application, which may be put on hold until the further study has been concluded.
The state will conduct a study on the potential environmental impacts of proof-of-work mining during the moratorium.
The committee’s chair, Sen. Todd Kaminsky, told CoinDesk in May that he was worried the bill could lead to “deleterious economic consequences for New York if people perceive it as being hostile to crypto.”
John Olsen, a lobbyist with the Bitcoin Association, told CoinDesk last month that he feared the moratorium could be extended or turned into a ban over the course of the next two years, which could drive away companies seeking to set up shop near New York’s cheap energy sources.
Mining companies based in New York have threatened to leave the state if the moratorium is passed, citing to the comparative ease of doing business in more mining-friendly states like Texas.
The acting president and chief strategy officer, Clark Vaccaro, at industry trade organization BaSIC, told CoinDesk the passage of the bill “is a grim day for blockchain technology, effectively shutting the door on a nascent industry.”
On a separate note, the Senate passed a bill that would create a “cryptocurrency and blockchain study task force” early Friday.