A new bill has been put in front of the New York Senate that proposes bringing Bitcoin mining to a temporary halt. The bill has been introduced following concerns regarding the environmental impact of the activity. If passed, Bitcoin mining in New York state will be put on pause for three years while the state performs an assessment of its effects on the environment.
According to a report by The Block, on Monday, Senator Kevin Parker presented New York Senate Bill 6486 before the State Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee. The bill is looking to assess the greenhouse gas emissions produced by Bitcoin mining and how the activity affects local water, air, and wildlife. The report produced by the assessment will be publicized and opened for public comment for 120 days before further considerations for Bitcoin mining policy are made.
Upstate New York has become a hotspot for Bitcoin mining operations, thanks to lower power costs and cooler overall temperatures, which helps save on cooling costs for crypto mining equipment. One of the largest mining centers is Greenidge Generation Holdings, a former coal plant that was converted to natural gas in 2017 before being refashioned for crypto mining operations in early 2020.
The environmental impact of Bitcoin mining has long been a concern for environmentalists. Defenders of crypto mining point to the increased usage of renewable energy in Bitcoin mining operations as proof that the industry is moving toward a more sustainable future.
The value of Bitcoin has exploded in the past decade, peaking at an all-time record high of $64,000 ahead of the Coinbase IPO in April. A little more than a week later, its value dropped sharply to $47,000. At the start of the decade, one Bitcoin was valued at roughly 8 cents; at the end of April 2021, a single Bitcoin was equivalent to $58,000.