A draft bill introduced by Sen. Kevin S. Parker, a member of the New York State Legislature from the ruling Democratic Party, seeks to impose a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining for three years. The move has been blasted “as another step by NY in the wrong direction” by Miami Mayor and Republican politician Francis Suarez who has devoted much effort over the past months to promote the crypto-friendly image of his city.
The draft legislation “provides that operation of a cryptocurrency mining center shall only be authorized following completion of a full generic environmental impact statement review and a finding that such center will not adversely affect the state greenhouse gas emission targets in the climate leadership and community protection act of 2019”.
The bill’s justification states that cryptocurrency “mining requires a vast amount of electricity, the process is inherently an energy-intensive” and “threatens not only New York’s climate goals, under the [New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act], but also global energy policy, such as the Paris Agreement.”
The move comes shortly after Parker announced his candidacy for the post of the New York City Comptroller, a position equivalent to the chief financial officer and chief auditor of the city’s agencies.
Meanwhile, the bill has drawn the ire of Suarez who said that Miami could mine Bitcoin with the use of clean nuclear energy and renewable energy sources, contrasting the city’s stance with the proposal’s provisions.
“We want to be the crypto mining capital of the world and I know it can be done sustainably and incorporate solar,” the mayor said.
The past years have brought a surge in crypto-oriented initiatives in Miami and Florida. Among others, a proposal by Danielle Cohen Higgins, County Commissioner of District 8 from the Miami-Dade county, called for the establishment of a task force to evaluate the possibility of enabling residents to pay their taxes in cryptocurrency.
In 2019, the state legislature set up the Florida Blockchain Task Force with the aim to study if and how state, county, and municipal governments could benefit from “a transition to a blockchain-based system for recordkeeping, data security, financial transactions, and service delivery and identify ways to improve government interaction with businesses and the public.”
This past February, with Suarez’s backing, Miami also passed a resolution to study the feasibility of allowing its employees to receive all or a part of their salaries in bitcoin, enabling the city to obtain payments in the cryptocurrency, and investing the city’s funds in bitcoin.
– American Political Leaders Playing High-stakes Bitcoin Pledge War
– Proof-Of-Bitcoin Needed As Critics & Competitors Unite To Play Climate Card
– A Closer Look at the Environmental Impact of Bitcoin Mining