NY lawmaker behind proposed crypto mining moratorium wants to study renewable energy alternatives

A New York lawmaker has proposed a new bill that aims to study using renewable energy at crypto mines in the state. 

On May 7, State Senator Kevin Parker introduced Senate Bill S6584. The bill calls on New York's energy authority "to conduct a study on powering cryptocurrency mining facilities with renewable energy."

The bill notes that "cryptocurrency mining centers are an expanding industry in the State of New York," a trend that has proved controversial due to the energy needs of proof-of-work blockchains like bitcoin and public perceptions about the network's carbon footprint

Last week, Parker introduced companion legislation that called for placing moratoriums on crypto mines in the state until their environmental impacts can be assessed. That bill is currently pending review by the Environmental Conservation Committee, while S6584 is with the Energy and Telecommunications Committee. 

The center of Bitcoin mining for most of the network's existence has been in China, but that is changing. This evolution of the global mining ecosystem comes as investors snap up the limited amount of mining equipment on the market. At the same time, hardware manufacturers are impacted by a worldwide chip shortage triggered by the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.