The US Mayor who became known in the Cryptoverse as a Bitcoin (BTC) supporter and industry ally is now opposing crypto mining, citing high energy consumption. Meanwhile, a billionaire urges the state to get rid of BitLicense “right away.”
New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams has established himself as a crypto enthusiast, vowing to make the Big Apple “the center of bitcoins” during his last year’s campaign, as well as to collect his first three paychecks in the crypto. However, he is now against the manner in which new coins are gotten, saying he is siding with environmentalist groups who oppose crypto mining due to its high energy consumption.
“I support cryptocurrency, not crypto mining,” Adams told a joint session of state legislators in Albany, The New York Post reported.
Over the past years, the state of New York has become one of the largest Bitcoin mining hubs in the country. Data obtained by CNBC from US mining pool Foundry USA suggests that last October, the state hosted the largest share of the country’s bitcoin hashrate, at 19.9%, followed by Kentucky, with an 18.7% stake, and Georgia at 17.3%.
The latest move comes after environmentalists criticized Adams for not adopting a strong stand against crypto mining operations.
Local green group Seneca Lake Guardian, a non-profit set up to protest against a gas-powered plant on the shores of Seneca Lake that is used, among others, to power a crypto mining facility, welcomed the mayor’s statement.
“Seneca Lake Guardian is relieved to see that Mayor Adams has heard us and understands the major threats that Bitcoin mining poses to New York State,” said Joseph Campbell, the group’s president.
Last December, Seneca Lake Guardian told its supporters to make phone calls to New York State Governor Kathy Hochul and “urge her to halt” Bitcoin mining in the state, starting with the Greenidge power plant on Seneca Lake, and Fortistar power plant proposed for Niagara County.
“Companies are coming to New York State and want to re-open formally decommissioned dirty power plants in order to generate electricity for their private cryptocurrency mining operations,” the non-governmental organization said in its statement.
As reported, the Bitcoin mining network is estimated to contribute less than 0.08% to the world’s total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Meanwhile, Bill Ackman, CEO of hedge fund management firm Pershing Square Capital Management, has suggested that the state gets rid of BitLicense, the business license that cryptoasset-focused businesses are required to obtain from the New York State Department of Financial Services.
“We can’t lose any more New Yorkers. NY is on its way to becoming a crypto center of innovation. Let’s remove barriers, create opportunities for growth and innovation, and help our state and city!” Ackman tweeted.
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