Mayor Eric Adams is urging Gov. Kathy Hochul to veto a controversial law that would impose a two-year moratorium on cryptocurrency mining at legacy fossil-fueled facilities to help the state better meet its climate goals.
“I will ask the governor to veto the bill that will stand in the way of cryptocurrency upstate,” Adams said in an interview with Crain’s New York Business published Monday.
“If you look at the billions of dollars being spent on cryptocurrencies, New York leads the way. We cannot keep putting up barriers.”
Cryptocurrency transactions are recorded on a digital ledger called a blockchain, which requires massive amounts of energy to generate. By providing computing power for this process, cryptocurrency “miners” are rewarded with newly minted pieces of digital coins like Bitcoin or Ethereum.
His opposition to the legislation has not gone down well with Rep. Anne Kelles (D-Ithaca), who sponsored the bill with State Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn).
“It surprised me and it is deeply disappointing because he suggests that this bill would negatively impact cryptocurrency in New York State [but] He’s asking us to go back to the stone age of cryptocurrency,” she told the Post on Monday.
She added that the bill only affects new cryptocurrency mining operations that use so-called “proof of work” to mint virtual currencies while validating transactions, and not a less energy-intensive technique known as “proof of stake.” “ is well known and increasingly fashionable among techies.
A moratorium, like the legislation provides, would help push the use of green energy instead of fossil fuels, she added.
“This law could be viewed as something that could encourage innovation… what it’s doing asks us to go back to the stone age of cryptocurrency,” added Kelles, who said she has not been contacted by Adams regarding the legislation.
Supporters of the legislation have said that limiting the use of fossil fuels to mint cryptocurrencies is necessary to help the state reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050 – compared to 1990 levels – according to the Climate Leadership adopted and Community Protection Act Legislature 2019.
Parker did not respond to a request for comment Monday.
The mayor has been an unabashed cheerleader for cryptocurrency adoption as mayor — he even accepted his first paycheck in bitcoin, despite its plummeting value.
His Recent comments seem to be contradictory with its previous position of supporting cryptocurrencies instead of crypto mining operations that emit greenhouse gases.
“Mayor Adams — who has an approval rating of 29% according to the latest Siena poll — is clearly responding to his crypto donors about the needs of everyday New Yorkers, flipping his testimony before the Legislature in February when he claimed, “I support cryptocurrency, not crypto mining,” said Yvonne Taylor, vice president of environmental agency Seneca Lake Guardian, in a press release, referring to Hizzonner’s plummeting numbers.
A spokesman for Adams countered by noting that the mayor wanted to keep a burgeoning industry going without unnecessary regulation.
“Mayor Adams believes that New York City needs to be at the forefront of the innovation economy, which includes cryptocurrency and Web3, as we continue to pursue our economic recovery. He is concerned that the government’s ban on crypto mining, which is the nation’s first, is unnecessarily strict and risks sacrificing our competitive advantage at a time when we can least afford it. The administration is committed to working with the governor and state legislatures to develop responsible regulations that address the environmental issues associated with crypto mining, while continuing to encourage the growth of this burgeoning industry here in New York.” , spokesman Jonan Allon said in a statement .
Other opponents of the proposed moratorium have argued that it would stunt job growth in economically troubled states, particularly for businesses run by people of color.
Hochul has garnered campaign donations from cryptocurrency interests as she stands for a full term alongside fellow campaigner Lt. gov. Antonio Delgado is running.
She has yet to say publicly whether she will enact the law.
Governors traditionally wait until the end of the year to decide the fate of hundreds of bills that lawmakers pass each year.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us over the next six months,” Hochul told reporters last week when asked if she would sign the law sooner rather than later or veto it.
https://nypost.com/2022/06/13/adams-urges-hochul-to-veto-fossil-fuel-fed-crypto-mining-moratorium/ Adams calls on Hochul to veto the moratorium on fossil fuel crypto mining