(New York) For two years, the state of New York has banned part of the activities of “mining” cryptocurrencies, the creation of virtual currencies that are considered extremely energy-greedy.
This is the first US state to suspend all or part of these activities.
Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday released a text, which was voted on by the state parliament in the spring, calling for a moratorium on mining activities that consume fossil fuels.
Several specialty companies have acquired aging power plants in New York State in recent years to power mining operations.
According to the specialist firm Digiconomist, mining or creating bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, requires approximately 1,150 kWh, or the average US household’s consumption for 40 days.
The ban enacted on Tuesday relates to the so-called “proof-of-work” mining method, which is considered the most energy-intensive and currently widely used.
It consists of having a computer perform a series of complex calculations as quickly as possible to declare the winner and get one or more units of cryptocurrency.
This process is increasingly being replaced by the so-called “proof of stake” protocol, which does not require an account and therefore requires less electricity.
This moratorium should allow New York State time to conduct an environmental impact assessment of its mining activity.
Several countries have already banned cryptocurrency mining, including China. It was, by far, the world leader in virtual currency creation until June 2021, the date of suspension.
China’s mining ban triggered an exodus that benefited greatly from the United States, which is energy self-sufficient and has since become the world’s largest producer of cryptocurrency.
In Europe, Kosovo also banned mining in January 2022, when the country was experiencing energy supply problems, causing frequent power outages.
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