Concept of computer circuit computer board for bitcoin mining.

New York bill could halt digital currency mining pending environmental impact assessment

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A new bill presented in New York could effectively implement a moratorium on block reward mining in the state until authorities have the chance to understand the environmental impacts.

Introduced by Senator Kevin Parker, New York Senate Bill 6486 has now been referred to the Environmental Conservation Committee for further consideration.

Under the terms proposed in the legislation, block reward mining firms would be subject to a three-year moratorium on mining, allowing the state to carry out a full range of environmental impact assessments, looking at greenhouse gas emissions, the impact on air quality, the impact on water quality and the impact on wildlife in the state.

The resulting report would be published at the start of a 120-day consultation period, with a minimum of one public hearing before any final decisions could be taken.

Mining centers in the state will be judged on an individual basis, weighed up against state emissions targets in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019. Any individual mining operations shown to be harmful, or contrary to the objectives of reaching the emissions targets, would be denied permission to operate in the state.

As per the legislation, the bill argues that a number of New York mining centers are based in fossil fuel power stations. The energy intensive process of mining has already come in for criticism from environmental campaigners across the board, flagging concerns about the impact of block reward mining on the wider environment in New York and beyond.

If introduced, the measures are likely to affect the Greenridge Generation plant in New York, which successfully mined some 5.5 BTC per day on average through 2020.

Parent company Greenridge Generation Holdings had been expected to go public later this year, though the firm’s prospects may be impacted by the new measures.

See also: TAAL’s Jerry Chan presentation at CoinGeek Live, The Shift from Bitcoin “Miners” to “Transaction Processors”

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