New York City Mayor Eric Adams spoke out Monday against a bill that is just one step away from effectively banning Bitcoin mining in the state for the next two years.
The bill aims to establish a two-year moratorium on proof-of-work (PoW) cryptominers that do not use 100% renewable energy. At the same time, the New York State Environmental Agency is investigating the effects of mining on the environment. The bill was passed in the State Assembly on June 3 and now awaits Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature to become law.
Mayor Adams told Crain’s Monday that he plans to veto Governor Hochul over the bill because of the economic damage it will cause to the people of the state. Mayor Adams was a frequent proponent of the crypto industry, previously accepting Bitcoin (BTC) instead of cash for his salary payments.
SPOON @CrainsNewYork I sat down with @NYCMayor Eric Adams today and heard he’s going to ask @GovKathyHochul veto #cryptocurrency crypto mining law placing a two-year break for new mining activities. Read it here: https://t.co/X0zjbJWJ8J
— Brian Pascus (@brianpascus) June 13, 2022
He now stands alongside miners against the bill, stating that “we cannot continue to erect barriers” for miners who want to help bolster the state economy with the “billions of dollars spent on cryptocurrency” in the state:
“I am going to ask the governor to veto the bill that will stand in the way of the cryptocurrency upstate.”
Proponents of the bill, such as original sponsor Assembleyperson Anne Kelles, are concerned that miners using fossil fuel power plants could put the state behind on a path to reducing all carbon emissions by 85% by 2050. New York generates more than 50 percent. % of its electricity from renewable sources, shutting down older fossil fuel power plants to meet that target.
Assembleyperson Kelles told the New York Post on Monday that the mayor’s support for miners was a surprise, saying he is essentially asking New York to “go back to the stone age of cryptocurrency”. Mayor Adams had spoken out against miners earlier in February, the Post said.
According to data collected in December 2021 by the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI), New York is the fourth largest contributor to hashing power in the US.
Industry insiders told CNBC on June 3 that New York’s decision to shut down miners could have a knock-on effect across the industry. However, Cointelegraph reported Friday that GEM Mining CEO John Warren believes miners will simply move to friendlier states with better incentives.
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According to the Bitcoin Mining Council, around 50% of the power Bitcoin miners use worldwide comes from renewable sources. Miners strive to become less dependent on fossil fuels, which require innovative technologies. Mayor Adams proposed giving New York miners deadlines to cut their emissions on specific dates. “Give us a goal, not a ban,” he said.