With all the advantages that Blockchain Technology and Crypto bring to the table, the effects of mining operations on the environment remain the world’s main concern. And with the constant growth of this space and the mining machines that run non-stop to complete all transactions, environmental activists and legislators in the state of New York have been doing their ultimate best for several months to slow the growth of crypto mining.
The New York Senate passed a bill that imposes a moratorium on new proof-of-work crypto mining operations in the state, meaning all new proof-of-work mining operations that rely on carbon-based fuel will face a two-year ban
But it does not stop here; White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is planning on issuing a report in August on cryptocurrency mining and its environmental impact. It will focus on the differences between proof-of-work and other network consensus mechanisms, the noise pollution that mining causes, old fossil power plants being reactivated in certain areas as well as other underlying issues. And to fortify the credibility of the report, OSTP has asked the public to send their feedback on the matter.
According to Bloomberg, Costa Samaras, principal assistant director for OSTP’s energy division, said, “It’s important, if this is going to be part of our financial system in any meaningful way, that it’s developed responsibly and minimizes total emissions”.
She added, “We’ve seen miners set up in places where the electricity prices are low and they’ve secured favorable industrial rates. I would like to go see the evidence that an afternoon peak mining tariff slows down mining operations”.
Moreover, Greenpeace and The Environmental Working Group co-signed a letter that tackles the effects of digital assets on the environment, in addition to some mitigation measures that need to be taken. However, opponents are not happy about these updates. For instance, Republican Assemblyman Robert Smullen, criticized the bill and described it as “anti-tech”, and a group of 50 advocates sent a letter to the EPA stating that miners abide by EPA regulations, which shouldn’t stop them from practicing mining just like any other work operation that relies on electricity to be completed.