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N.Y. Governor Signs Bill Placing Two-Year Moratorium on Certain Types of Cryptocurrency Mining

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Nov. 22 signed a bill into law that places a two-year moratorium for certain types of cryptocurrency mining operations.

In a memorandum related to her signing the bill, Hochul said that the law will prohibit Environmental Conservation Law permits from being issued for two years to proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining operations that are operated through electric generating facilities that use a carbon-based fuel.

New York is the first state to take such action, Hochul said.

The law also requires the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to prepare a generic environmental impact statement on cryptocurrency mining operations that use proof-of-work-authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions.

The law still allows for the issuance of permits for generating facilities that “use alternatives to carbon-based fuel, such as hydropower, which would permit growth and business development in this industry,” the memorandum said.

Cryptocurrency and other trade groups expressed disappointment in Hochul’s action.

The Chamber of Digital Commerce, a blockchain trade association, said that to date, “no other industry in the state has been sidelined like this for its energy usage. This is a dangerous precedent to set in determining who may or may not use power.”

"The Business Council does not believe the legislature should seek to categorically limit the growth and expansion of any business or sector in New York,” said Heather Briccetti Mulligan, President & CEO of the New York Business Council. “We plan to further engage and help educate them regarding this industry and the benefits it provides to the local, regional, and state economy."

Click here for additional details on the bill that Hochul signed into law.

New York DEC Denies Air Permit Renewal To Cryptocurrency Mining Power Plant

In July, the DEC denied renewal of an air permit to a 107-megawatt (MW) power plant in Yates County that is used to power computer operations for proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining.

In denying a Title V air permit renewal for Greenidge Generation in the town of Torrey, the DEC cited the dramatic increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the facility since the passage of the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act driven by “the change in the primary purpose of its operations.”