Cryptocurrency Ban Could Help Boot An Emerging Industry From New York State

The recent collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX provided Gov. Kathy Hochul a perfect opportunity to sign a two-year moratorium on cryptocurrency mining in New York state.

Passed earlier this year, A.7389 creates the moratorium on on crytocurrency mining operations that use fossil fuels to power proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining. Cryptocurrency mning is an energy-intensive process that requires thousands of machines working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to solve complex equations. The more machines that are running, the faster a coin is mined. Each machine requires energy to run, plus more energy to run cooling technology — which mans ready access to a dedicated power plant is needed for this type of operation. Running the power plants necessary for bitcoin mining can mean both jobs and a major boost in taxable assessment for host communities like Dunkirk, for example, which is home to a mothballed former coal power plant in search of a new use. Unfortunately, Dunkirk makes no sense for cryptocurrency operations in its current state because the plant was never converted from coal to natural gas as was originally announced before plans fell through. But there are locations in the state that do make sense for these projects — and the state is slamming the door on those locations while Hochul touts her economic development vision for the future.

There is no need for a moratorium on cryptocurrency operations in New York nor is there a need for further study. The state DEC should be perfectly capable of handling air permit approvals or denials on its own. Hochul’s signing statement for A.7389 is also a comical signal for the governor’s support of “our steadfast efforts to support economic development and job creation in New York.”

It didn’t take long for Perianne Boring, Digital Chamber of Commerce CEO, to tell Spectrum News in Albany that other states have a far lighter regulatory burden on cryptocurrency companies. As Boring told Spectrum, “This is not a business friendly landscape to bitcoin miners,” Boring said. “This is really I think the nail in the coffin.”

So, by steadfast efforts to support economic development, Hochul really means largely booting a new group of job creators to another state.

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