A bill that aims to place a two-year moratorium on certain types of proof-of-work crypto mining operations in New York was dealt a huge blow on Friday.
The legislation has drawn ire from many in the crypto industry who fear that the moratorium – which in its current form is much narrower than an earlier version that sought to place an all-out ban on mining for three years – could be the beginning of a slippery slope that ends with all crypto mining being banned in New York.
But there is also concern from both industry and lawmakers that the proposed moratorium, whether it becomes law or not, sends a bad signal to the crypto industry. They worry that the proposal could push business and the jobs and taxes that come with it out of the state.
“I think one of the biggest issues [with the bill] is that you have ‘New York’ and ‘moratorium’ in the same sentence,” said John Olsen, the New York state lead for the Blockchain Association.
The Assembly version of the bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Anna Kelles, a Democrat from upstate New York, passed last week. The Senate version of the bill, which is backed by state Sen. Kevin Parker, must also pass in order to be signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
When a bill is referred to a committee, the committee can pass the bill either as is or with amendments, reject it or ignore it. The Environmental Conservation committee – chaired by state Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat who has previously voiced his opposition to the bill – has ignored the bill.
While the committee’s decision not to take up the bill for consideration makes it much more difficult for the bill to make it before the entire Senate for a vote, it’s not impossible.
If the leader of the Senate, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, decides to bring the bill through the Rules Committee before the end of the current legislative session on June 2, and the bill is passed through the committee, it could still end up going before the entire Senate.
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