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New York State Assembly Passes Moratorium on Bitcoin Mining 

New York is close to signing a two-year moratorium on Bitcoin mining into law. The state assembly passed a bill today to prevent users from renewing fossil-fuel permits for proof-of-work mining activity.

New York Against Mining

After passing yesterday, the bill is now headed for the Democratic-controlled State Senate.

Democrats – who are more concerned with environmental protections than their Republican counterparts – have a reputation for standing against Bitcoin mining. That includes New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who is otherwise fond of crypto’s other qualities.

Should the Senate approve, that leaves only Governor Kathy Hochul to sign it into law. The governor was reportedly “reviewing proposals regarding the role of cryptocurrency mining in New York’s energy landscape,” back in January.

Importantly, the bill would not place renewable mining under threat. It would only prevent permit renewals for “an electric generating facility that utilizes a carbon-based fuel”.

Nevertheless, this is a big deal for the industry. One facility includes Greenridge – a publicly traded power generation and Bitcoin mining company. Its 107-megawatt natural gas plant has been under fire from local environmental groups, including Seneca Lake Guardian, for months.

The company has promised to become zero-carbon emitting over time. Nevertheless, it was already facing a reportedly “uphill battle” to received a permit renewal before this bill. The company has even faced scathing criticism from Elizabeth Warren – a prominent anti-crypto senator – for its mining activity.

New York is currently the largest US state for Bitcoin mining producing 19.9% of the national hash rate. America, in turn, is the most popular Bitcoin mining country on Earth.

Is Ripple’s Co-Founder Behind This?

Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen recently funded an environmental campaign to see Bitcoin change its consensus mechanism to proof of stake. Its current mechanism is behind most of Bitcoin’s energy usage, which requires electricity to mine more Bitcoin.

According to public records, Governor Hochul received a $50,000 campaign donation from Larsen in December. The founder has a history of donating significant money to environmental causes in the past.

Additionally, his campaign funds sparked anti-proof of work activism from Greenpeace. The organization claimed that Bitcoin could single-handedly cause irreversible global warming last month.

However, Bitcoiners, tend to defend proof of work as the only viable method of guaranteeing network security. Industry insiders also dismiss claims about its environmental impact as preposterous.

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“The claim that Greenidge’s fully permitted operation would have any impact on the quality and viability of Seneca Lake is beyond absurd,” said Greenridge CEO Dale Irwin on the matter.

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