USA: New York bans coal-powered bitcoin mining operations

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New York State became the first in the US to ban bitcoin mining, more specifically facilities powered by coal-based energy sources. For the next two years, no renewal of licenses or issuance of new licenses for facilities within the state will be allowed unless their owners prove that they are powered by 100% renewable energy.

Bitcoin mining is a fairly energy-intensive activity and the new legislation is part of New York’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions by 85% by 2050.

“It’s the first law of its kind in the country,” said New York Governor Kathy Hochul, signing the legislation. “This is a key step in the state’s effort to reduce its environmental footprint,” she added.

Cryptocurrency market experts estimated on CNBC that the initiative will create a domino effect in the US, where 38% of bitcoin mining facilities operate. The new legislation “will set a dangerous precedent in who can or cannot use electricity in New York State,” the US Chamber of Digital Commerce said in a statement.

Industry executives, such as Kevin Zang, of digital coin company Foundry, expressed similar concerns, “It’s not just a clear sign that New York doesn’t want bitcoin mining companies, but it sets a dangerous precedent by singling out a specific industry in which it prohibits the use of electricity.”

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