The bill will now be submitted with the support of the Senate for passage before Governor Hochul’s final signing of the bill.
The New York State Assembly passed legislation late on Tuesday, April 26, that imposes a two-year ban on all new proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrency mining businesses that use carbon fuel to power their operations.
The bill, put forward by Anna Kelles , not only imposes a two-year delay on the approval of any new bitcoin farms. The proposed moratorium will also prevent the renewal of permits issued to existing PoW cryptocurrency miners using carbon-derived energy if they seek to increase the amount of electricity consumed.
“I am thrilled that my bill with Senate champion @kevinparkernyc A7389C/S6486D just passed the Assembly as part of the Earth Day package! Thanks to all co-sponsors and supporters who helped bring this bill to a vote!” Anna Kelles tweeted.
The bill has garnered the support it needs to pass: 95 votes in favor, 52 against, and will now be put to a Senate vote by Senator Kevin Parker. If successful, it would be passed to Governor Kathy Hochul , who could veto the bill or sign it into law.
Under the bill, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will be tasked with preparing a “general environmental impact report” to number, locate and evaluate the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of PoW miners, as well as their impact on public health.
The cryptocurrency industry advocacy group Blockchain Association has previously urged pro-tech, innovation and cryptocurrency New Yorkers to oppose the bill, which they claim has resulted in thousands of messages to lawmakers.
The association said the bill was debated for about three hours, demonstrating what they believe is “stronger opposition to the mining ban than supporters imagined.” In a tweet today, the team said they will be channeling their energy into the New York Senate to defeat what they are calling the “anti-tech bill.”
Proposed bans on mining cryptocurrencies with proof of work for environmental reasons are becoming more common. A similar proposal called the Crypto Asset Markets Act (MiCA) was narrowly defeated in the European Parliament at the end of March, with lawmakers even considering a ban on bitcoin trading to enforce the proposed mining ban.