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Greenidge opposition swells, as calls for statewide ban on cryptocurrency mining get louder

Activists and environmental groups are calling on New York to say ‘No’ to cryptocurrency.

At a press conference this week hundreds called on Hochul and the state Department of Environmental Conservation to issue a statewide moratorium on crypto mining.

Specifically, advocates say proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining, which is the most energy-intensive of all types. Environmental advocates say a full review should be conducted before the practice is allowed to continue in New York.

On Wednesday, the DEC also held a hearing on the air quality permit for Greenidge Generation in Yates County. Groups are calling for denial due to environmental concerns along Seneca Lake.

RELATED: Bitcoin miner Greenidge Generation issues $50M bond sale (CoinDesk)

“We believe this is the top environmental issue facing our great state,” said Yvonne Taylor, Vice President of Seneca Lake Guardian.

Meanwhile, Greenidge responded with its own statement after the press conference in Albany.

“Our critics make a lot of claims of negative impacts that do not hold up after scrutiny. This is New York; we have incredibly tight environmental regulations. Every ecological impact is carefully tracked, measured, and publicly cataloged – yet our critics cannot point to a single piece of data to support their claims of damage to the region,” the company said in a statement.

Taylor said more than 600 signatures environmental organizations, faith-based groups, labor unions, and businesses were acquired to deny Greenidge the mining permit.