From his early years, the energy impact of bitcoin has not stopped being discussed, although the subject has been the subject of various reports over the years that sometimes compare the energy required for mining bitcoins with the annual energy consumption of certain countries, has never caused concrete actions by governments.
En este sentido, New York State is taking the first initiative of this type when presenting a bill to suspend cryptocurrency mining over the next three years to properly assess its environmental impact.
And it is that cryptocurrencies gained popularity and made the news during the first quarter of 2021. Bitcoin, the best known of them, reached an all-time high of more than $ 58,000 per coin in February.
This digital currency is known to have a huge energy impact on the planet. Bitcoin mining has such a significant environmental cost that several reports point out that Bitcoin mining has the same carbon footprint as Argentina. In the future, it could consume as much electrical power as all the data centers in the world.
To see more clearly, Senator Kevin Parker introduced Bill 6486 to the New York State Senate Environmental Conservation Committee in order to prohibit the operation of cryptocurrency mining centers until the state can assess their environmental impact.
Specifically, the bill would allow New York state to institute a three-year moratorium in the mining operations of a cryptocurrency company. This is the first initiative of its kind since the advent of cryptocurrencies.
Subsequently, the state would carry out a comprehensive environmental impact study on the impact of the center's greenhouse gas emissions from mining, as well as its effects on water quality, environmental quality, air and wildlife.
And it is that bitcoin grows despite reports of its carbon footprint, as it briefly reached an all-time high of $ 64,000 before Coinbase's direct listing, before falling 36% to $ 47,000 around 10 days later.
Bitcoin mining has long been criticized due to its high energy consumption and its environmental impact, in addition to the fact that several investigations, including a study from the University of Cambridge, have shown that bitcoin mining around the world consumes more energy each year than some entire nations.
In February, reports they estimated that the frenzy to "mine" bitcoins produces the same carbon footprint as Argentina. In April, a new analysis published by Dutch researcher Alex de Vries, founder of Digiconomist, showed that the rise in the price of bitcoin is also leading to higher energy consumption. It suggests that bitcoin's energy consumption could be close to the collective consumption of all the world's data centers combined, and could have even greater implications for the environment and global politics.
Cryptocurrency mining is compounding the global chip shortage and it even threatens international security. This is the conclusion of Alex de Vries' comment in his article entitled "Bitcoin Boom:
which means the increase in prices for the consumption of energy from the grid ”, which was published in Joule magazine. Like Bill Gates, billionaire Charlie Munger thinks that "bitcoin is disgusting and contrary to the interests of our civilization." In this sense, he judges that bitcoin is bad for the planet. "I hate the success of bitcoin and I am not in favor of a currency that is so useful to outlaws," he said.
The report would be accompanied by a 120-day public comment period and at least one public hearing. This bill comes at a time when the cryptocurrency industry is booming, growth fueled by Bitcoin and Ethereum, the value of which has been growing rapidly since April.
The plant's parent company, Greenridge Generation Holdings, is expected to go public through a merger in the United States this year.
After adoption, mining centers deemed harmful, that is, those that distract the state from its emissions targets set out in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019, will not receive the necessary permits to operate again.