Coming off a successful reelection, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law a two-year moratorium on new cryptocurrency mining operations in New York that rely upon fossil fuel generated electricity. Taking care not to enact a statewide prohibition, existing cryptocurrency mining operations relying upon energy sourced from the electrical grid are not impacted.
This first-in-the-nation law is consistent with New York’s ambitious climate and clean energy goals. However, critics of the law fear it will drive an exodus of cryptocurrency mining out of New York to states with more favorable laws and eliminate a source of economic development opportunities from upstate New York.
The future for cryptocurrency mining operations could look increasingly similar to other industries traditionally subject to environmental oversight and require both existing and prospective cryptocurrency mining operators to submit thorough environmental impact reports and detailing their carbon footprints.
It is yet to be seen whether other states will follow New York’s lead
, and what other trends will follow. However, cryptocurrency mining operators looking to establish a home in the near term should strongly consider using renewable energy sources or looking to other states in the region.
As the cryptocurrency mining industry catches up to those that have historically been subject to significant environmental oversight and regulations, it will also become more adept at navigating local and federal environmental requirements.