New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on Tuesday signed a law temporarily restricting cryptocurrency mining in the state over environmental concerns, making it the first state nationwide to implement such a move. The bill was delivered to the governor on Tuesday after the state legislature passed the measure in June, and The Associated Press reported that Hochul signed the measure. The restrictions also come after the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which has led to growing scrutiny of the industry. But the New York law instead takes aim at the technology’s environmental impact, establishing a two-year moratorium on permits for fossil fuel plants used for cryptocurrency mining that utilizes “proof-of-work authentication.” The technology, which is used for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, requires large amounts of energy, and the law’s text suggests its use makes achieving the state’s climate goals more difficult. The law also mandates the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation study the environmental impact of mining operations that use the authentication method.
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