An upstate assemblywoman is battling bitcoin advocates as she defends a measure that would impose a two-year embargo on crypto mining in New York.

Assemblywoman Anna Kelles (D-Ithaca) argued on social media over the aim of a bill that would allow the state time to examine the environmental implications of the contentious crypto mining process
"My measure does not prohibit the use of cryptocurrency." "It's not even a mining prohibition," Kelles explained. "It's a two-year embargo on bitcoin mining activities at fossil-fuel power facilities."
Cryptocurrency mining, or Bitcoin mining, consumes enormous amounts of energy as computers solve complicated math problems and authenticate digital currency transactions.
Critics of the bill, which passed the Assembly's Ways and Means Committee on Monday, fear that it would force tech companies out of New York and transfer employment abroad.
Opponents, according to Kelles, are deliberately mischaracterizing the bill.
"The industry's brazen attempts to deceive and twist the facts only strengthens the argument for rational regulation," she added.
Foundry, a Rochester-based startup focused on the digital currency industry, is led by Mike Coyler.
Let's be clear, please. Coyler tweeted, "Voting for [Kelles'] bill is a vote AGAINST BITCOIN, CRYPTO, and BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY." "I don't want my name associated with that." Imagine voting with the one guy who, 30 years ago, wanted to shut down the internet."
Foundry further stated that the firm just exceeded the 100-employee mark, with intentions to increase that figure by the end of the year.
"A prohibition on bitcoin mining would force New York out of the game while our sector thrives overseas, producing employment and tax revenue in more friendly states," the firm said.
Only large-scale crypto mining at decommissioned power plants that employ fossil-fuel based energy sources is included by Kelles' measure, which is supported by Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) in the Senate.
The dispute comes after an old coal plant in the Finger Lakes, which closed in 2011, sparked outrage after being rebuilt into a natural gas plant that powers a big bitcoin mining operation. Currently, there are 30 such facilities spread around the state.
The bill, which is making its way through the Democratic-controlled Legislature, would only apply to new or renewed power plant permits, and it would compel the Department of Environmental Conservation to release a general environmental impact statement following a public comment and hearing period.
Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Nassau) and Assemblyman Clyde Vanel (D-Queens) have filed a separate measure that would target bitcoin fraudsters.
The bill aims to improve consumer safeguards by providing prosecutors with a legal foundation to prosecute crypto crimes by changing the penal code to make "rug pulls" and other digital asset frauds illegal in New York.
Online scams known as "rug pulls" deceive investors into backing a fictitious business or even a digital coin.
"Both the global banking system and the burgeoning bitcoin business are centered in New York," Thomas remarked. "This forward-thinking law will safeguard consumers, strengthen the crypto ecosystem's security and dependability, and give clearer guidelines for businesses to develop and succeed in the crypto economy."