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Jumaane Williams calls for moratorium on cryptocurrency mining

New York gubernatorial candidate Jumaane Willaims has called for a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining in the state, citing concerns from advocacy groups that say it is harmful to the environment.

The move backed by Williams, a New York City-based public advocate, and local groups in the Finger Lakes region, is the latest effort to generate awareness around the affects of the new technology, according to Spectrum Local News.

Cryptocurrency mining operations require a massive amount of energy to run their servers. Environmental organizations argue that allowing cryptocurrency mining put a wrench in the state’s effort to combat climate change. New York is set to reduce its carbon emissions in the coming years.

“Bitcoin mines that use a ‘proof-of-work’ process are known to cause significant damage to the environment and local economy, which is why many countries have completely banned the practice,” said Williams on Monday. “Unfortunately New York has fallen behind, allowing nearly 20% of the country’s mines to operate in our state without any oversight or regulation. We need to ask questions now rather than dealing with the fallout later.”

A moratorium would allow regulators to review the process and its potential affect on the environment, advocate argued.