New York legislators will soon vote on a bill that would place a two-year moratorium on certain cryptocurrency mining operations that use proof-of-work authentication (POW) methods to validate blockchain transactions in an attempt to maintain compliance with NY’s greenhouse gas emission regulations. While the scope of this bill is relatively limited, how the legislator reacts could provide valuable insight into how receptive various NY departments are to the crypto mining industry as a whole.

  • The bill’s underlying theory is that the continued expansion of crypto mining operations running POW authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions will negatively impact compliance with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which requires New York to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Despite some believing this bill will impose an outright ban on all mining, if passed, the bill won’t affect presently operating POW mining operations, instead only prohibiting the issuance of new permits. Mining operations that use alternative energies, such as wind or solar, will also remain unaffected.
  • But the bill could still do serious and lasting damage to NY’s mining industry, as mining operations may be hesitant to invest substantial capital into New York if they fear having their operations shutdown at any time due to changes in the state’s regulatory landscape.
In an article for Blockchain Law Alliance, Marvin J. Lowenthal discusses the reasoning behind and the potential implications of this bill, as well as analyses its potential to become a template for how other states examine their own support for crypto mining.