On behalf of the Chamber of Digital Commerce and its membership, which includes many digital asset mining companies, we are severely disappointed in Governor Hochul’s decision to approve a moratorium on digital asset mining operations that use proof-of-work (PoW) authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions (A.7389-C (Kelles)/S. 6486-D (Parker)). To date, no other industry in the state has been sidelined like this for its energy usage. This is a dangerous precedent to set in determining who may or may not use power.

The PoW mining industry has been spurring economic growth, job creation, and inclusion for historically underrepresented populations in New York, while also creating financial incentives for the buildout of renewable energy infrastructure. With this legislation becoming law, we expect the mining companies, or those considering business in the state, to leave and head to more friendly regulatory jurisdictions in the U.S. – a trend far too many industries in New York State are realizing daily.

Additionally, the state’s argument that the mining industry’s energy use is exponentially beyond other industries is blatantly false. The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act requires statewide greenhouse gas emissions be reduced 85% by 2050 and achieve net zero emissions in all sectors of the economy by that time. PoW mining is a catalyst to achieve this goal. The Bitcoin Mining Council has estimated that the global mining industry’s sustainable electricity mix is 58.5% and growing. 

Moreover, on the rare occasions when customer energy demand spikes, PoW miners can work cooperatively with utilities to cut off their power demands for the benefit of the grid in mere minutes with no adverse effects, unlike data centers, cloud service providers, and manufacturing facilities. This conversation has fallen on deaf ears with New York State lawmakers and unfortunately, industry growth will be hindered by implementing this arbitrary moratorium.

We welcome the opportunity to work together in the future to develop common sense legislation that will work to benefit the state, the digital asset industry, and of course, the environment. Unfortunately, this effort does not meet the mark.