New York may partially ban cryptocurrency mining if Hochul doesn’t veto it

The debate, which has attracted the interest of numerous high-profile crypto backers — including New York City Mayor Eric Adams — has become a proxy war over the threat that government regulations could pose to the digital currency industry.

On one side are industry leaders, who are threatening to take their business to other states with energy-rich resources.

And on the other side are environmental groups, which are planning rallies and making the case that Hochul must sign the bill if she wants the state to achieve its ambitious emissions reduction targets.

The measure is “going to keep the state from going backwards on its climate goals by reopening old power plants,” state Assemblymember Anna Kelles (D-Ithaca), who sponsored the bill, said in an interview. “It’s common sense.”

Despite the narrowness of the bill, which exempts the only two such operations in the state, industry leaders, who are spending heavily on lobbyists in Albany, say the measure would send the wrong message to a growing technology sector and contend just the threat of the law is already causing companies to steer clear of New York.

“What’s going to happen is the companies are going to think that well, they’re going to come after us in other ways, too. So they’re going to leave preemptively,” said John Olsen, a New York lobbyist for the Blockchain Association, which represents the cryptocurrency industry.

Industry officials are also concerned about other liberal states following suit and pursuing limitations on digital currency mining.

“We’re watching Oregon and Washington very closely,” said Steven McClurg, chief information officer with Valkyrie Investments, which invests in Bitcoin and other digital assets.

“The success in New York, even just getting it through both houses, is certainly going to inspire others in similar states,” Olsen said. “It’s merely the introduction and the socialization between legislators who like to glom on to issues and…

Read more at www.politico.com

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