Objectors to New York’s mining ban say governments can’t dictate ‘valid use of energy’

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Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin and Coin Metrics’ co-founder Nic Carter recently opposed the recent mining ban decision of New York, saying that it’s not okay for governments to decide on what the appropriate usage of electricity is.

Carter tweeted that NY’s ban on crypto mining directly controls what constitutes proper use of power. He implied that this is an abuse of power and said:

US Senate candidate Bruce Fenton also tweeted to object to NY’s decision and said no government has the right to tell people which software to run.

Is it really about the environment?

The New York Senate passed the bill due to environmental concerns, arguing that the greenhouse gas emissions released by crypto mining will irreparably harm compliance with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act in contravention of state law.

However, opposers do not believe this ban serves its said environmental purpose.

Buterin quoted Fenton’s tweet to say he favors decreasing gas emissions for the environment’s sake. However, the crypto mining ban does not really serve its purpose.

Carter also argued that environmental concerns are just a front, as the state has made some contradicting decisions. Carter tweeted:

Mining’s impact on the environment

Bitcoin mining consumes nearly 110 terawatt-hours of energy annually, which impacts the environment. Many prominent figures have protested the negative consequences.

Buterin, for example, decided to switch Ethereum from energy-consuming PoW to sustainable PoS. On the other hand, Elon Musk advocated for using sustainable energy sources like solar power for Bitcoin mining.

The Bitcoin mining industry’s sustainable energy usage increased approximately 59% last year and reached around 58.4% in the first quarter of 2022.

As of January 2022, the US constitutes 37.84% of the average monthly hashrate in Bitcoin mining. New York produces 9.77% of that number every month. Moreover, New York’s mining activity is mostly sustainable, according to Carter.


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