The Bitcoin mining business could be subject to a three-year ban in New York. In that sense, a bill will try to stop the proliferation of farms until the real impact of the activity is evaluated. According to reports, the concern about carbon emissions reached the highest authorities of the entire region.
In this way, for a period of 3 years, the operation of virtual farms could be stopped. This would allow the authorities to carry out an exhaustive assessment of the real impact of the activity on the environment. For example, the consequences of carbon emission for air, water and wildlife, explained by various means.
For its part, the results of the investigation will be published in a report and presented to the public. Likewise, Bill 6486, if approved, could be a catastrophic blow to the mining business. It should be noted that New York’s climate is ideal for mining, as low temperatures prevent overheating.
Are there reasons to think that Bitcoin mining will be banned?
The fact that Bitcoin mining would be a prohibited activity comes from multiple controversies between miners and environmental groups. Often times, accusations are made, many of them exaggerated, against the business of generating cryptocurrencies.
It is a long-standing struggle that now reaches the highest echelons of the New York regional government. The straw that broke the camel’s back, say the aforementioned media, was the reactivation of the Greenidge plant located near the Finger Lakes. As CriptoTendencia already reported, this plant, formerly fired with coal, was put into operation for the exclusive use of mining. Currently, this plant produces about 5.5 bitcoins a day and plans to expand by more than 70%.
Environmental defense groups reacted actively and denounced the dangers of the reactivation of the plant. This, despite the fact that the current owners of the same assure that the feeding will no longer be with coal but with natural gas.
Another of the fears of environmentalists is that dozens of other abandoned plants in New York will follow Greenidge’s example. In this way, the emission of carbon into the atmosphere would exceed the legal limits imposed in the state. Now, the situation becomes more critical because the environmentalists got support in the regional seat.
Concerns grow as business expands
The law that, if approved, would cause Bitcoin mining to be prohibited for 3 years, has citizen support. Thus, the NPR medium collected testimonies from New York citizens, most of whom express marked concern about the proliferation of farms.
One of the people, identified as Yvonne Taylor, emphatically expressed her rejection of Bitcoin mining. «We simply cannot allow this ridiculous fossil fuel burning scheme to create fake money in the midst of a climate change crisis.», He expressed.
Eilyan Bitar, for her part, assures that the reactivation of plants such as Greenedge and others are cause for concern. Regardless of the activity they are going to feed, he says, that means more greenhouse gas emissions.
Insatiable energy consumption
If Bitcoin mining were banned in New York, the impact would not be significant for the overall hash. However, this fact could lead to other states or countries taking similar initiatives. It should be noted that the mining business of the main cryptocurrency consumes more electricity than many countries.
According to some calculations, exclusive Bitcoin mining consumes about 250 terawatts / hour per year and the trend is increasing. This represents half the energy consumed by all data centers, the Internet, cloud services, other cryptocurrencies, the entire financial sector and others. To get a general idea of this demand, it must be compared with the consumption of industrial powers such as Germany, which consumes 500 terawatts per hour.
Lately, suspicions that Bitcoin mining negatively impacts the environment. Above all, because 80% of the hashrate of this digital currency is generated in Asian countries where power generation occurs with highly polluting food.
In the midst of that context, New York authorities are struggling to assess the impact of the cryptocurrency mining business. Consequently, Bitcoin mining activity would be banned in the state.
Data to take into consideration
- The bill that seeks to halt the production of Bitcoin on New York farms, was introduced by regional senator Kevin Parker.
- The initiative was a response to recent announcements by the Greenedge company, which reactivated after years of inactivity to produce Bitcoin.
- Countries such as China and others in the Nordic region have begun to express concern about the high consumption of the mining business.
- According to data from the German portal DW, Bitcoin mining consumes 250 terawatts / hour per year. This, by comparison, represents half of Germany’s consumption.