Mayor Eric Adams of New York City (NYC) has spoken against the Proof of Work (PoW) mining ban a law that will effectively prohibit Bitcoin mining in the state for the next two years.
Proof of Work (PoW) crypto miners who do not use 100 percent renewable energy will face a two-year embargo under the measure. At the same time, the state of New York environmental office is looking at the environmental effects of mining.
The bill was passed by the State Assembly on June 3 and is currently awaiting Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature before becoming law.
On Monday, Mayor Adams told Crain’s that he expects to ask Governor Hochul to veto the law because of the economic harm it will cause the people of the state. Mayor Adams has been a vocal supporter of the cryptocurrency business, previously accepting BTC as payment for his salary rather than cash.
He now opposes the law, arguing that “we can’t continue to put restrictions in place” for miners who want to contribute to the state’s economy by spending “billions of dollars on cryptocurrency” in the state.
“I’m going to ask the governor to consider vetoing the bill that is going to get in the way of cryptocurrency upstate.”
Supporters of the bill, such as Assemblywoman Anne Kelles, are concerned that miners who utilize fossil-fuel-burning power plants will put the state behind schedule in meeting its goal of lowering total carbon emissions by 85% by 2050.
To meet this aim, New York generates more than half of its electricity from renewable sources, closing down aging fossil-fuel power plants in the process.
On June 13, Assemblymember Kelles told the New York Post that the Mayor’s support for miners surprised him and that he is essentially asking New York to “return to the stone age of bitcoin.” According to the Post, Mayor Adams had already spoken out against miners in February.
On June 3, industry experts warned CNBC that New York’s move to close mines might have a ripple effect throughout the industry. GEM Mining CEO John Warren, believes that miners will just relocate to states that offer more incentives.
According to the Bitcoin Mining Council, nearly half of the electricity used by Bitcoin miners comes from renewable sources. Miners try to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, which necessitates the development of new technology.
Mayor Adams proposed setting timelines for New York-based miners to cut their emissions by particular dates. He said, “Give us a goal, not bans.”