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Vitalik Buterin Opposes The Outlawing of PoW Mining

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has opposed the idea of governments banning Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining. He said this while responding to aspiring US Senator Bruce Fenton. Instead of enforcing an outright ban on the PoW crypto mining, Buterins suggested carbon pricing.

In a June 4 tweet, Fenton said no government has the right to dictate the software a person or an entity should run. According to him, code is speech.

In response, Buterin said:

Ultimately, I agree with this (that is, I oppose banning PoW). The government picking and choosing which specific applications are an okay use of electricity or not is a bad idea. Better to just implement carbon pricing, and use some of the revenues to compensate low-income users.

Carbon pricing involves regulating greenhouse gas emissions by charging companies with large carbon footprints a fee. This practice also involves offering companies incentives for cutting their carbon emissions.

Vitalik’s argument comes as Ethereum (ETH) continues using a PoW consensus model. However, the network is inching closer to embracing a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) model. Unlike PoW mining, which is energy-intensive, PoS is eco-friendly.

Criticism Around PoW Mining Mounts

Buterin’s comments come after New York Senators passed a bill to ban PoW mining. Specifically, the bill calls for a two-year moratorium on issuing licenses to PoW miners that use carbon forms of fuel. The only exception would be PoW mining companies that use 100% renewable energy.

The bill’s next stop is the desk of New York Governor Kathy Hochul. Hochul can choose to either pass the bill into law or veto it. Should she pass it into law, New York would become the first state to ban blockchain technology infrastructure.

New York is not a top crypto mining hub. However, experts believe passing the bill into law might prompt other states to ban PoW mining. At the moment, Georgia, Texas, and Kentucky are the largest hashrate producers for Bitcoin (BTC), the largest PoW crypto.

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Outside the US, Sweden is also calling for a ban on PoW crypto mining. Unlike New York, which plans to offer green PoW mining companies a chance, Sweden believes its renewable energy could go toward supporting other vital industries.

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