Since its inception in 2009 as an electronic peer-to-peer cash system. Bitcoin trading and its price have tremendously grown globally. Being an alternative way to provide secure electronic transactions, Bitcoin gained support from crypto-enthusiasts and investors. Bitcoin boom in New York has been powered by the trend of cryptocurrencies and friendly mining requirements offered by the state.
Interestingly, Bitcoin’s supply was set at 21 million. Which are all the Bitcoins there ever will be. Currently, there are 18 million Bitcoins available in the market. The remaining 3 million are yet to be introduced in the market by 2040. Since Bitcoin mining is almost hitting the home run with just 3 million Bitcoins remaining, the industry attracts a new crop of miners every day.
With the ban and other restrictions in countries that initially produced significant coins, miners relocated to countries with accommodative conditions. This further drives its attraction, especially in New York. Is the Bitcoin boom in New York a blessing or a detrimental exploit in disguise? Let us deconstruct this together; read on.
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China’s Ban on Crypto Currencies Mining
Notably, China banned cryptocurrency mining in 2021. The Bitcoin miners and their subsequent cryptocurrency affiliates have always had bad blood with the Chinese government. The ban of all cryptocurrencies mining activities in China forced Bitcoin miners and crypto platforms to exit.
China defended that it took this bold step because of its environmental goals. It argues that it’s aiming to achieve zero emissions by the year 2050. The ban on mining and trading Bitcoins in China forced many miners to find a new home for the trade, hence the boom in New York.
Why New York?
Bitcoin mining requires reliable and cheap electricity to facilitate the constant running of thousands of computers. Recently, the Western and North of New York City has seen a massive flocking of Bitcoin miners in the past year. Bitcoin boom in New York state begs the question, why this state? What fuels the growth of cryptocurrency mining in the city?
At the northeast of Niagara falls, Wattum recently acquired a location in a bid to expand their mining operations. Most importantly, New York City especially in the north and western parts have considerable power entering their grid, mainly green energy. Bitcoin mining farms leveraged energy availability and fewer restrictions available within the state to open more mining activities.
The presence of abandoned coal plants and other industrial structures within the state; fueled the setting up of mining sites for crypto. Abandoned facilities, still connected to power make it feasible and easy for miners to utilize. Thus furthering the current growth rate of Bitcoin mining in New York City. Sooner than later Crypto’s environmental impacts will surface. However, its regulatory attempt might be too late, and may only come in place to hurt the poor and the minority who would come late to the game.
An outcry from Environmental Lobbyists
Bitcoin mining undoubtedly consumes a tremendous amount of electricity annually. In reality, channeling a lot of electricity to cryptocurrency mining sites not only affects the locals. It also contributes significantly to emissions, mainly when such operations do not use green energy.
The scramble of mining locations west of New York, fueled by lax regulation threatens the state’s emission-reduction goals. For New York state to achieve zero emissions by 2050, the state ought to lobby for the use of renewable sources of energy. And enhance enormous reduction on fossil-fuel emissions. In addition, considerable “clean-up tax” needs to start coming up on the policy table.
Contrary to the above goals, Bitcoin mining escalates the rate of emissions extremely. These plants’ consumption of an incredibly massive amount of power will ultimately force some state residents to depend on fossil-fuels energy.
The state’s woman Anna R. Kelly has been at the forefront of pushing for stringent measures to curb certain aspects of Bitcoin mining. Though the bill got rejected, there are still plans from the state and national levels to review mining restrictions for the cryptocurrency sector.
The Future of Cryptocurrency Mining
Depending on the state’s commitment to meet their emission-reduction goals, they will respond ideally to the surge of Bitcoin mining in the state. Regardless of the negative environmental impacts of Bitcoin mining. More plants are set to come up within the state.
Interestingly, the incoming Mayor Eric Adams of NYC supports Bitcoin. In his view, cryptocurrency should be included in the school’s curriculum. Subsequently, he will take his first three paychecks through Bitcoin. The incoming Mayor envisions New York City as a crypto hub. His administration may take an approach to not only educate the NYC minority and everyday people about Bitcoin but also empower them to position for any gains it offers.
The economic benefits of Bitcoin mining are undisputable, but will these justify the environmental and climatic impacts? From a sustainability standpoint, the state should review mining legislation to enhance the reduction of emissions.
In conclusion, the challenge lies with the legislators. The York State lawmakers have the power to guide the state in the right direction. Whether they’ll have the heart is a question of the future.
Your turn: what do you think of the Bitcoin mining boom in New York City? Is it beneficial or harmful? How do you think the New York State everyday people benefit from it? Please let us know your thoughts!