New York Senate Bill 6486 seeks to halt Bitcoin mining for three years until its environmental impact can be assessed, particularly in regards to the amount of greenhouse gas emitted by the practice.
“Cryptocurrency mining centers are an expanding industry in the State of New York, often, but not exclusively, located in retired or converted fossil fuel power stations, including dormant peaker plants,” states the bill.
The bill also cites concerns that, “a single cryptocurrency transaction uses the same amount of energy that an average American household uses in one month.”
In upstate New York, the power for Bitcoin mining is more affordable.
It is also a hospitable spot for the process, because of its cooler climate which helps to prevent the equipment from overheating.
The assessment will look into the effects of Bitcoin mining on water, air, and wildlife to produce a report, which will then face a 120-day public comment period.
The bill also mentions New York State’s greater goal of outputting net zero emissions in all economic sectors by 2050 under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
Bitcoin mining, with its heavy energy use and environmental impact, has faced heavy criticism. A study from Cambridge University, shows that Bitcoin mining around the world uses more energy each year than some whole nations.
Meanwhile, Tech titans Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk believe Bitcoin could be a force for good when it comes to the environment, incentivizing renewable energy.
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