Hochul signs a partial ban on cryptocurrency mining into New York law

“As the first governor of New York State in nearly a century, I recognize the importance of creating economic opportunity in underserved communities,” Buffalo’s Democratic governor said in the memo accompanying her endorsement.

“I sign this legislation into law to build on New York’s landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the most aggressive climate and clean energy law in the nation, while also continuing our steadfast efforts to promote economic development and create of jobs in the state. New York.”

The new law will also prompt a study by the State Department of Environmental Conservation to study the impact of the cryptocurrency mining industry on the environment.

The measure was hotly debated in the halls of the Capitol this year, with environmental groups pressuring lawmakers and Hochul to support the bill and industry urging Hochul to reject it.

“Thank you, Governor Hochul, for standing by to protect New Yorkers from corporate bullies who want to exploit communities like mine in the Finger Lakes,” said Yvonne Taylor, vice president of Seneca Lake Guardian, an environmental group that has pushed for the closure. of a local gas-powered cryptocurrency facility. “The crypto industry is going to whine that this is a blow, but it isn’t.”

The bill is limited in scope, despite its pioneering steps. The state’s 12 or so operations that draw power from the grid would not be affected, nor would individuals buying or mining cryptocurrency or other blockchain activities. And the moratorium on new or renewed licenses doesn’t apply if the company has already filed paperwork to operate in New York.

Still, the law has raised concerns in the industry that it would cause other states to follow suit and hurt the industry, which has already gone through a rough patch with investors.

In June, the state a key license denied for a gas-powered cryptocurrency mining operation in the Finger Lakes, saying the Greenidge facility spewed out too much planet-warming pollution to be allowed under the state’s climate law. But the company is challenging the decision, and the plant continues to operate.

Business groups defrauded Hochul for signing the ban into law.

“The Business Council does not believe that the legislature should attempt to categorically limit the growth and expansion of any New York business or industry,” the group said in a statement. “We plan to further engage and help educate them about this industry and the benefits it brings to the local, regional and state economy.”

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