New York is cracking down on fossil fuels for crypto mining

Polluting power plant

Cryptocurrency mining often requires huge amounts of electricity, especially for proof-of-work chains like Bitcoin. That power sometimes comes from fossil fuels, which the state of New York wants to curb.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill on Tuesday that aims to limit the use of environmentally harmful fossil fuels for cryptocurrency mining. It institutes a two-year moratorium on new and renewed air permits for fossil fuel power plants used for energy-intensive cryptocurrency mining. The law also directs New York’s Department of Environment Conservation to evaluate how cryptocurrency mining affects the state’s climate goals.

Governor Hochul said in a statement: “I will ensure that New York remains the center of financial innovation while also taking important steps to prioritize protecting our environment.”

Environmental impact is a common criticism of cryptocurrency, as many blockchains are built on proof-of-work, which uses significant amounts of energy to verify each transaction compared to regular banks and digital payments. Newer blockchains use a more efficient proof-of-stake model, but not Bitcoin and some other chains. The Ethereum blockchain was migrated to proof-of-stake earlier this year.

The extensive use from fossil fuels is one of the biggest problems with cryptocurrency. Many other industries rely heavily on fossil fuels, but in the end you usually end up with something useful, like a car or computer. Pumping toxic fumes into the air for Bitcoin mining just makes you money that is not very good at being money.

Source: Associated Press

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