New York’s State Senate voted to pass bill S6486D which will invoke a two-year moratorium on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining operations that use the Proof-of-Work mechanism to validate transactions. The State Senate voted 36-27 in favor of passing the bill into law. The bill will now be sent to Governor Kathy Hochul where she will either sign or veto the bill. 

In late April, the bill passed the State Assembly to the dismay of many Bitcoiners and miners. Over a month later, many of the state senators who were undecided on the bill were pushed by leadership in the state capitol to cast a vote.

Lawmakers who support the bill, state that their intentions are to mitigate the state’s carbon footprint by cracking down on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency miners connected to power plants that burn fossil fuels.

Perianne Boring, founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, states that the net effect of this law will drive out businesses and weaken New York’s economy.

He explains that “This is a significant setback for the state and will stifle its future as a leader in technology and global financial services. More importantly, this decision will eliminate critical union jobs and further disenfranchise financial access to the many underbanked populations living in the Empire State.”

Galaxy Digital’s Amando Fabiano shared a similar view by stating: “New York is setting a bad precedent that other states could follow.”

Consensus from Bitcoiners and those following these developments can be summed up in Samson Mow’s tweet below:

What This Means for Bitcoin Miners

If Governor Hochul signs the bill into law, it would go directly into effect for two years and all new mining operations will not be accepted nor will new permits be issued. 

Renewals for expanding operations will also not be processed but businesses may still be able to apply for renewal permits if operations stay the same or decrease in size.

The bill explicitly states that these clauses take effect on miners that rely on “carbon-based” energy. There is no mention within the bill whether these clauses apply to mining operations that rely on 100% renewable energy.

During the two-year moratorium period, New York will conduct an in-depth study on Bitcoin and other Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies and the possible environmental impacts they may have.

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