New York Bans Crypto Mining to Protect Environment, Bill Proposes Nationwide Study

• New York has passed a partial ban on cryptocurrency mining in an effort to protect the environment.
• Environmentalists are calling for similar regulations to be implemented across the nation.
• Sen. Ed Markey has proposed a bill to require the Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate the environmental impacts of cryptocurrency mining and to require reporting on emissions from mining operations using more than 5 megawatts of electricity.

The state of New York recently passed a partial ban on cryptocurrency mining, in order to protect the environment. Although this ban is only two years in length, environmentalists are already calling for similar regulations to be implemented across the nation.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has proposed a bill that requires the Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate the environmental impacts of cryptocurrency mining, and to require reporting on emissions from mining operations using more than 5 megawatts of electricity. The bill is being backed by environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, who are pushing for legislation to study the energy and environmental impacts of cryptocurrency mining across the country.

Megan Wachspress, a staff attorney for the Sierra Club, spoke about the importance of understanding the environmental impacts of cryptocurrency mining. She said, “We need to better understand what is happening and to enforce the environmental laws that we have against coal and gas plants that are being operated primarily for the benefit of cryptocurrency activities.” She further noted that the New York law was a “really critical first step” in acquiring information and better enforcing environmental laws.

The partial ban on cryptocurrency mining in New York has already caused some cryptocurrency companies to decide not to invest in the state, and environmentalists are hoping that it will serve as a precedent for other governments. It remains to be seen whether the proposed bill will pass, but it is clear that environmentalists are determined to make sure that cryptocurrency mining is held to the same environmental standards as other industries.