Tompkins County Supports State Moratorium on Cryptocurrency Mining

The Tompkins County Legislature unanimously passed a resolution supporting a state moratorium on Cryptocurrency mining.

The moratorium is a part of a bill before the New York state legislature, drafted by Assemblymember Anna Kelles.

Cryptocurrency mining can be very energy intensive. Greenidge Generation LLC is a gas-fired power plant on Seneca Lake. They’re currently mining bitcoin with 19 MW/h of electricity, and soon to be mining bitcoin using up to 45 MW/h of electricity. That’s enough energy to power over 38,000 homes.

The state bill is written to put a pause on the emerging industry, so the DEC can review the environmental impacts of cryptocurrency mining and develop regulations around it. 

Legislator Mike Sigler voted to support the resolution, but expressed reservations. He doesn’t think using natural gas to mine bitcoin is a good use of the resource, but he thinks that there are some details that need further attention

Sigler said, “I mean, I want to know, is this moratorium on ones that are going to be coming online or that are planned? Or is this on existing mining operations? Because New York State already has mining operations? I mean, does it cancel those out?”

As written, the legislation would halt all cryptocurrency mining.

Sigler said he’s spoekn with Kelles about these details, and was told they are being worked on in the legislature.