New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed a law that partially restricts cryptocurrency mining
New York has enacted a two-year ban on proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining operations powered by fossil fuel, becoming the first state in the country to do so.
Governor Kathy Hochul, who was elected in early November, signed the controversial environmental ban on Tuesday.
In her statement, Hochul said that she wanted New York to remain the center of financial innovation, but the governor also highlighted the importance of environmental protection.
The bill was passed by the New York State Senate in early June.
New York has become an attractive place for crypto mining businesses because of its cheap hydroelectric energy sources. Miners also took advantage of the abundance of shuttered fossil fuel power plants in the state.
However, crypto businesses attracted strong backlash from local environmental groups for using plenty of energy and threatening the state’s climate goals by refiring fossil abandoned fuel-burning power plants and significantly increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
Last year, some residents of upstate New York started complaining about a local Bitcoin mining facility turning Seneca Lake into a hot tub.
The cryptocurrency mining industry strongly lobbied against the bill, claiming that the ban would stifle the sector’s growth.
Still, the enacted moratorium is not as harsh as the previously proposed bills, which would ban any cryptocurrency mining activity in the state for three years.