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  • J Markezic and M Bacina

For mining out loud: New York State Legislature passes bill blocking non-renewable crypto mines

Updated: May 3

The New York Legislative Assembly has recently passed Bill A7389C that imposes a two-year moratorium on crypto mining firms that utilise carbon-based energy sources. The Bill arises out of, and reflects, the emerging concerns that crypto-mining processes have on the environment.

Crypto-market leaders are in opposition to the Bill, arguing that it could potentially lead to miners relocating and negatively impacting domestic US jobs are geopolitical interests.

Those who supported the bill noted that the Bill was not retrospective - in other words, those facilities that were in place prior to the Bill would not be impacted by it. However, the New York Department of Energy (NYDoE) is nevertheless required to ban renewals for existing permits for cryptocurrency mining facilities where the applicant is understood to be growing its position.

The Bill states that the NYDoE:

shall not approve a new application for or issue a new permit... for an electric generating facility that uses a carbon-based fuel and that provides, in whole or in part, behind-the-meter electric energy consumed or utilized by cryptocurrency mining operations that use proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions.

The Bill also mandates that a 'generic environmental impact statement' evaluating proof-of-work mining and mining facilities in New York be evaluated.

The environmental impacts of crypto-mining were also of concern to the Australian Senate Inquiry into Australia as a Technology and Finance Centre in 2021. The Committee recommended that:

the Australian Government amend relevant legislation so that businesses undertaking digital asset 'mining' and related activities in Australia receive a company tax discount of 10 per cent if they source their own renewable energy for these activities.

This recommendation was not taken up by the Treasurer and so is unlikely to ever be made into law. Miners will need to keep making their own way in Australia and finding solutions to use renewable energy without help from Uncle Skippy.


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