New York State will restrict cryptocurrency mining for the first time in the United States due to environmental protection. Until now, mining virtual currency has been constantly criticized by environmental protection groups as it has consumed enormous power.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on the 22nd (local time), New York Gov. Kathy Hockall signed a bill to restrict cryptocurrency mining for two years. The bill will take effect immediately and can be used with eco-friendly energy such as hydroelectric power generation, but cryptocurrency mining using fossil fuel power generation will be prohibited.
Cryptocurrency miners earn cryptocurrencies by solving mathematical equations with computers, which use a huge amount of power. Governor Hockall said, “New York State will become the center of financial innovation and at the same time take important steps to prioritize environmental protection.” As a result, New York State became the first state to restrict cryptocurrency mining in the United States.
To prevent the bill from being passed, cryptocurrency industry groups have consistently opposed it. Heather Britsetti, chairman of the New York State Business Committee, protested, saying, “The New York State government should not limit growth in any industry or sector.” The Digital Chamber of Commerce, which represents Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and various digital asset mining companies, said, “I am disappointed by the New York State government’s decision,” adding, “I will move my business to other states.”
Environmental groups and others argue that cryptocurrency mining uses too much energy to pollute the environment. Liz Moran of the environmental group Earth Justice said, “The New York State law enacted this time will be the standard for cryptocurrency mining,” adding, “Cryptocurrency mining is a major threat to climate security and should be closely regulated.”
The cryptocurrency market has grown rapidly in recent years, but the U.S. federal authorities have hesitated to regulate cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, more than 160 cryptocurrency-related regulatory bills are currently being reviewed in 37 states in the United States.