New York lawmakers pass moratorium to ban Bitcoin proof-of-work

Key Takeaways:

  • Proof-of-work has to be regulated due to its high energy consumption —Kelles.
  • Moratorium will hurt the state of New York, says lawmaker.
New York lawmakers
New York lawmakers have advanced a bill that aims to ban proof-of-work mining.

LAGOS ( — Despite numerous outcry and advice from experts New York lawmakers have advanced a bill that aims to ban Bitcoin mining in the state.

In detail, New York lawmakers today pass a two-year moratorium bill that would ban Bitcoin proof-of-work in the Empire State. As a result of today’s vote, the bill will now advance to the Senate where it could be enacted into law or shelved.

Notably, if passed the bill will prevent the issuance of new permits for proof-of-work mining operations. Invariably this will hinder the ability to mine Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other digital assets using the proof-of-work mechanism.

Anna Kelles, the New York lawmaker who sponsored the bill expressed confidence that the moratorium will scale through Senate. She indicated that proof-of-work operations have to be regulated due to its high energy consumption and impact on the environment.

Kelles argued that the moratorium will enable New York to accomplish the 2019 New York Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). She further proposed that assets using proof-of-work find other alternatives. She said:

“The moratorium (not a ban!) will not in any way restrict anyone’s ability to buy, sell, invest, or use cryptocurrencies in New York State. nor will it impact in anyway anyone’s ability to do cryptocurrency mining as long as they’re not buying a power plant to do it.”

It is worth noting that the bill won’t affect existing proof-of-work mining operations. However, new firms won’t be able to get approval and existing firms won’t be able to renew permits.

Mixed Reactions From New York Lawmakers Over Bill

Meanwhile, the moratorium led to a clash between several New York law lawmakers as pro-bill and pro-crypto argued their points.

Pro-crypto legislators noted that the bill will only push miners out of New York to other states. They noted that the bill will hurt the state of New York and crypto-related technological advancements.

Republican New York lawmaker, Robert Smullen, described the bill as an anti-tech law disguised as an environmental law. Smullen argued that the state should be embracing these industries instead of clamping down on them.

Similarly, another lawmaker warned that the bill would lock New York out of the benefits of innovative new technology. He pointed out that digital currency has a lot of potentials and should be explored rather than ban.

Furthermore, some crypto advocates also expressed concern that the bill would lead to future crackdown on crypto. They argued that this could be the beginning of legislation cracking down on the crypto industry in the state.

Crypto Community Condemn Moratorium

Meanwhile, legislation such as this sends a terrible signal to the crypto community regarding New York’s stance toward digital assets. Several crypto entrepreneurs and enthusiasts condemned the passing of the moratorium which targeted the leading crypto, Bitcoin.

Jake Chervinsky, an executive at Blockchain Association via his official Twitter handle condemned the bill. He insisted that bitcoin has more benefits than harm and hopes the Senate will make a better decision. 

Several Twitter users described the passing of the bill as backward thinking on the part of the New York lawmakers. Another Twitter user pointed out that the bill will have no impact on the general Bitcoin industry but on the state. He said:

“So basically they are just stopping New Yorkers from starting mining businesses to benefit the local economy. This will have zero impact on the actual bitcoin mining hashrate. New York shooting itself in the foot.”

Mike Colyer, CEO of Foundry pointed out that New York will lose the financial support that crypto miners add to its economy.

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