Lawmakers call on Gov. Hochul to crackdown on cryptomining

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – Bipartisan group of lawmakers calling for a crackdown on climate-destroying cryptomining. They held a news conference in Geneva on Monday.

A bill headed for Governor Hochul’s desk would put a two-year moratorium on re-purposing fossil-fuel-burning power plants and turning them into cryptomining operations. Environmentally-focused democrats and Finger Lakes winery owners have asked the governor to sign the bill.

In recent weeks, upstate GOP and democrat leaders joined together and called on Governor Hochul to curb cryptomining, scientists implored her to follow the science on climate (as she did with COVID), and winemakers urged her to protect their threatened industry.

Proof-of-work cryptocurrency is an extremely energy-intensive process that requires thousands of machines whirring 24/7 to solve complex equations. The more machines that are running, the faster a coin is mined. Each one of these machines requires energy to run, plus more energy to run cooling technology. Globally, proof-of-work Bitcoin mining uses the same amount of energy each day as the entire country of Argentina. It produces 30,700 metric tons of e-waste each year, comparable to the yearly IT equipment waste of the Netherlands.

"The bill does not block cryptocurrencymining in all of Upstate New York, it does not prevent anyone from buying, selling or trading in cryptocurrencymining, it does not prevent marginalized populations from participating in cryptocurrency. It does not block tech innovation, in fact, it encourages innovation" said NYS Assembly Member Dr. Anna Kelles.

Some lawmakers went as far as to say they would pull their support for Governor Hochul if she does not sign the bill.