Business leaders, labor unions, and representatives from other organizations in New York State have urged officials to avoid converting fossil fuel power facilities into data centers for digital currency mining.
Environmentalists wrote to New York Governor Katie Hawkul, requesting that she perform an environmental study of mining centers that produce currencies using the Proof-of-Work algorithm. Furthermore, they are requesting that the “transformation” of Greenidge and Fortistar North Tonawanda into cryptocurrency extraction sites be prohibited.
In the letter, organizations and businesspeople pointed out that Proof-of-Work takes a lot of electricity to power the machines that mine digital currencies. As these capabilities grow, they have the potential to have a disastrous impact on the environment and hinder the state from meeting its previously set climate goals under the Climate Leadership Act.
The authors of the letter quoted the statements of New York Commissioner Basil Seggos, who stated that Greenidge’s plans to turn it into a mining center violate the state’s climate regulations.
Greenidge Generation now operates the once-suspended plant on Lake Seneca’s shoreline, generating 44 megawatts of power to power 15,300 servers and provide additional power to the New York City system.
Pro-cryptocurrency supporters say that the plant’s actions are in the townspeople’s best interests. Yates County Chairman Douglas Paddock hailed Greenidge’s ability to create 45 high-paying employment, as well as their considerable contribution to the region’s overall development through tax payments and investments in the new business.
Greenidge executives said at the end of September that they had mined 279 Bitcoins in three months. This sum is worth around $17 million at the current Huobi exchange rate. The factory uses 58 percent of its capacity for cryptocurrency production.
Greenidge executives also pointed out that their gadgets are carbon-neutral, owing to monetary compensation for emissions in the form of schemes to trap methane from local landfills and forest conservation programs.
The state government has yet to decide which side of the dispute he will support, but we will keep a close eye on the situation.