A digital mining moratorium bill that narrowly passed the NY State legislature in the last hours of session currently waits for Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature or veto. The bill aims to stop new cryptocurrency data centers from operating, largely in remote areas that need the employment the industry has brought with it. If signed by the Governor, the bill risks putting New York on a short list of governments around the world that have banned the new technology, including the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Sultanate of Oman, and the Supreme Leader of Iran.
President Biden, all 49 US States, and all of Europe have opted to either study or embrace the industry as the next generation of the internet—Governor Hochul will have to choose which of these paths she wants New York to follow.
The B.T.C. Veterans Energy and Technology Security committee (BTC VETS), a nonpartisan arm of the Bitcoin Today Coalition that represents US military veterans, civil servants, and frontline responders warns of the dangers of following behind authoritarian countries that have banned cryptocurrencies altogether. The committee is made up of current and former national security and foreign policy professionals who have expertise within and around digital asset infrastructure and markets.
Authoritarian regimes like the CCP are not only banning crypto mining but also using such blanket bans to promote state control over the industry’s underlying technology known as blockchain. The committee fears that should NYS ban proof of work digital assets, we would also risk alienating an industry that can help us enhance US National Security and our nation’s global competitive advantage.
In a recent letter sent to legislators, the committee’s experts assess that China did not ban bitcoin mining in 2021 due to any concern for energy or environmentalism. Rather, China banned bitcoin mining because the CCP is currently promoting its own Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) which, as is the case with all CBDCs, can be used to track, surveil, and control citizen behavior. China is the largest surveillance state in the history of the world; and it uses a multitude of cutting-edge technologies to maintain ubiquitous technical surveillance (UTS) over its massive population, of which the Digital Yuan CBDC is only one.
State-sponsored apps like WeChat are used by the Chinese public for nearly every financial and personal interaction, and Bitcoin threatens to derail the surveillance and control benefits that will otherwise accrue to the CCP from these apps and their CBDC. Banning bitcoin in NYS would therefore put us years behind the rest of the globe as opposed to being the leading hub of innovative technology. It would also inadvertently align us with Chinese propaganda about digital innovation and crypto mining.
Former chairman of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission and current Chairman and member of the Digital Dollar Project, Chris Giancarlo, shared in a recent interview on the podcast Freakonomics,
“We want to convince the federal government that even if we don’t develop a digital dollar, the U.S. cannot surrender leadership in creating that technology to our economic competitors. If you think that this is just about crypto, you’re missing the big picture. This is as fundamental as the first wave of the internet.”
Financial surveillance and censorship are central components of the CCP’s domestic and international strategy. With January’s successful launch of the digital yuan, the CCP has an unparalleled level of control over the Chinese monetary system. Industry leaders share that bitcoin’s decentralized protocol is diametrically opposed to state-owned programmable money, and its apolitical, censorship-resistant, and incorruptible consensus protects property rights and individual liberties better than any money in history.
Aside from the short list of authoritarian regimes banning this progressive infrastructure, research shows that places like Switzerland are accepting these advances in technology positively, and recognize the positive effects of blockchain technology. The European Union recently voted down a similar ban bill proposed to parliament. Many European countries, in fact, are placing healthy regulation on cryptocurrencies that foster innovation as opposed to impeding the industry’s growth. Tech Industry leaders warn legislators and people of the state that it would be tragic if New York State, with its zero-carbon energy abundance and deep pool of intellectual capital, opted out of the Cambrian explosion of innovation that is currently underway in the energy industry, all because of a fundamental misunderstanding of this transformative technology.
The future of cryptocurrency in New York lies in Gov. Kathy Hochul’s hands after lawmakers passed two seemingly contradictory bills on Friday, June 3, 2022. We’ve teamed up with locally grown Foundry Digital to tackle this pressing topic and the potential impact on WNY.
About Foundry Digital:
Foundry was created to meet the institutional demand for better capital access, efficiency, and transparency in the digital currency mining and staking industry. As a Digital Currency Group company, Foundry taps unparalleled institutional expertise, capital, and market intelligence to provide North American bitcoin miners and global manufacturers with the resources to build, maintain, and secure decentralized networks. Foundry empowers miners with the tools they need to build tomorrow’s decentralized infrastructure. We are protocol-agnostic and seek to support like-minded blockchain entrepreneurs who share our mission to advance the industry.
Click to E-Mail Gov Hochul the message below.
Dear Governor Hochul,
I am a resident of New York who STRONGLY OPPOSES the Proof of Work digital mining moratorium bill. I believe that blockchain and cryptocurrency mining are essential new technologies for the third generation of the internet. New York missed out on the second generation of the internet, as all the jobs and tax revenue went to places like California that embraced the technology early. New York now has a chance to bring jobs, financial inclusion, and renewable energy production to New York through this new technology. I ask you to please veto this bill and embrace the Crypto Task Force Study Bill so we can learn how to promote this new technology for the betterment of NY while also understanding its environmental implications. It would be prudent to study this issue before we alienate the entire crypto industry through a blanket ban, especially since President Biden and California are also studying this issue and not banning the technology.
I thank you for your consideration.