Why New York is Moving in the Wrong Direction with This New Bitcoin Mining Bill
Tech regulation is a trending topic.
The debate primarily concentrates on free speech policing and whether social media giants should enjoy statutory protections.
Other regulatory battles are shaping up. Bitcoin was out of regulatory focus in its first few years. As it ballooned rapidly, some began taking notice. The attention was mainly concerning Bitcoin’s use for transactions without regulation.
Lately, another aspect of Bitcoin is getting regulatory scrutiny. Bitcoin mining is somehow the worst thing to happen to certain environmental activists. So much so that the state of New York is set to debate a bill seeking to ban Bitcoin mining for three years.
Why three years?
Well, the rationale is for the state to assess the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining.
State senator Kevin Parker presented the bill before the State Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee on May 8, 2021. This bill seeks to measure the greenhouse gas emissions caused by Bitcoin mining, including its effects on water, air, and wildlife.
The bill states that it focuses on mining centers within the state, including retired or converted fossil fuel power stations and other plants. Bitcoin mining is a growing industry in upstate New York.
Concern Over the Effect of Bitcoin Mining
The bill has raised the eyebrows of Bitcoin miners nationwide.
It applies to Bitcoin mining in the state of New York alone, but regulation can have a snowball effect.
The move to ban Bitcoin mining in the meantime is punitive, given that miners have intensive operations in the state. That timeframe would see them lose out on millions, even billions.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was quick to seize on the news to convince Bitcoin miners that Florida was the destination.
He tweeted that the city of Miami can mine Bitcoin using clean nuclear energy. Suarez believes that Miami can be the Bitcoin mining capital of the world.
Still, if New York goes ahead with banning mining, it will significantly lose the state. Upstate New York is naturally cool for large parts of the year.
Besides, it is the most significant financial market in the world. Bitcoin is a maturing asset class, and restricting it is not the way to go.
New York had the chance of entrenching its importance in global finance by embracing positive Bitcoin regulation.
Bitcoin Mining Can Rejuvenate Small Towns
Small upstate towns like Dresden and Alcoa were sleepy with old power plants that were rusting away.
Bitcoin miners repurposed these power plants into crypto mining operations. Miners are using high amounts of power from the plants, which generates profits for the plant owners.
Dresden’s Greenidge power plant announced plans in April to expand operations by adding four new single-story buildings to target Bitcoin mining. Environmental advocates are less than amused by this surge in upstate New York mining activity.
Regardless, Bitcoin mining represents an opportunity for power generators in small towns to make a strong comeback. The manufacturing decline over the decades has left thousands of small towns in New England and the Midwest in dire need of new commercial activity.
Instead, the state has taken a restrictive approach.
The Bitlicense requirement, which is a business license of virtual currency activities, issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS), was enough regulation. Now, the state is taking things a notch higher.
Bitcoin mining presents an additional revenue stream for the state. Besides, it fosters entrepreneurship for thousands in this jurisdiction. Taking the drastic action of banning it is a step too far.
The U.S. Has Enough Energy Sources for Bitcoin Mining
Admittedly, Bitcoin mining consumes high amounts of electricity. However, this consumption is getting blown out of proportion if New York’s actions are anything to go by. The concern about Bitcoin mining should be solely focused on carbon-emitting sources like coal.
Mayor Suarez of Miami is promoting nuclear power. Other than the occasional atomic disasters like Fukushima, nuclear power provides clean power. This source of power is very efficient because nuclear fission produces tremendous amounts of energy.
The United States has 94 commercial reactors with a net capacity of 96.6 gigawatts (GW), with 63 pressurized water reactors and 31 boiling water reactors. This capacity only represents a small capacity of what the US is capable of from a generation standpoint. Bitcoin mining could present the incentive regulators needed to unblock nuclear power.
The focus of New York regulators should not be on banning Bitcoin mining. Instead, it should be how New York State can generate more clean power to facilitate more commercial activity. Other states and countries are focusing on how to create more energy at cheaper rates.
This pressure to get more cheap power is fuelling research into nuclear fission. Nuclear fission combines two atoms at a high velocity to create an explosive energy reaction that generates more power than nuclear fission. Thus far, the only problem is how to safely control the actual explosion and generate power without causing irreparable damage to the environment.
That said when you add untapped hydroelectric energy, wind farms, and other sources, the US has more energy than all Bitcoin mining could ever need. The solution is not to conflate issues and blame all Bitcoin mining. Instead, the focus should be on clean Bitcoin mining that does not affect the environment.
Bitcoin as A Solution for Clean Energy Generation
For decades, regulators and politicians have sought a way to increase investment in renewable energy. Renewable energy sources require a considerable initial investment. Constructing a project like the Hoover dam is not feasible if there is no ready demand for electricity.
Hoover dam represented a massive taxpayer-funded effort.
Unfortunately, not everyone has seen the urgency of investing in renewable energy. Therefore coal and oil investments have far outpaced renewable energy growth. Those require a smaller initial investment to get going.
With Bitcoin mining, renewable energy entrepreneurs have a different proposition. A Bitcoin mining farm presents immediate and constant demand even in remote areas.
Besides, Bitcoin mining converts energy directly into money, offering an unprecedented feedback look for these plants.
VBit Mining Is Transforming Bitcoin Mining using Renewable Energy
Much of the ire at Bitcoin mining is because of the perceived carbon footprint.
The answer to these concerns is mining Bitcoin without using fossil fuels.
Yes, green Bitcoin mining.
VBit Mining is actualizing this frontier in Bitcoin mining. We have data centers in the U.S. to utilize cheap hydroelectric power, especially in the state of Montana.
Montana is a sparsely populated remote region that can benefit immensely from such commercial activity. VBit Mining also benefits from cheap power in the beautiful, rural state. This situation is a win-win for all parties.
Accordingly, Bitcoin mining using renewable power can be a solution to concerns about the carbon footprint of Bitcoin.
Instead of rushing to ban mining, New York State should invest more in clean power to boost entrepreneurship.
Using renewable energy sources is just as viable and results in equally efficient Bitcoin mining. VBit Mining ordered over $8 million of BTC mining rigs in late December 2020, rapidly expanding our North America expansion and bringing Bitcoin mining to the mainstream. Visit the VBit Mining Shop to learn more about green Bitcoin mining and how easy it is to sign up!