New York lawmakers passed legislation banning the use of carbon-based energy sources for the mining of Bitcoin. If the bill goes into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul, it could have an impact on companies currently mining Bitcoin.
New York would be the first state in the U.S. to ban particular Bitcoin BTC/USD mining, which could have a ripple effect across the country.
What Happened: One company that could be affected by the Bitcoin mining legislation in New York is Marathon Digital Holdings Inc MARA whose CEO shared comments about the bill.
“It was passed to stop fossil fuel based power generating sources in New York. If they have wanted to do that, it would have been much more practical just put in place a moratorium that was not industry-specific,” Marathon Digital CEO Fred Thiel said.
Thiel questioned why the bill targets Bitcoin specifically and not just the overall fossil fuel energy market.
“It’s illogical so it clearly and specifically designed to target proof-of-work mining. I think, it is specifically targeting Bitcoin as opposed to achieving the broader needs of the state.”
Thiel called Bitcoin miners customers of electric companies and not owners of the power-generating resources.
“This is a bill that I think specifically playing politics with Bitcoin mining. This is political jockeying going on.”
What’s Next: Thiel said the bill could have ramifications, including no Bitcoin miners wanting to operate in New York.
Thiel said the electrical union was against the bill and there could be a loss of job opportunities in the state.
The bill could also divide states on whether they support or are against the same practices such as New York. “When New York bill passed the state senate in New York, Texas basically said hey we are open for miners come mine here,” Thiel said.
Thiel said a lot of states are open to Bitcoin mining naming Texas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Georgia.
“I think you may see California to do something like it, it would not surprise me, but I think this is going to be limited to states where there has been Bitcoin mining previously.”
Thiel said Marathon Digital is focused on being a good corporate citizen. Marathon participates in programs where it can shut down its systems when the grid needs extra energy.
“You can shut us down in 10 minutes and we can be back up and running in 20 minutes. You can’t do that to a car assembly plant, you can’t do it to a food and processing company, you can’t do it to an aluminum plant.”
Thiel said this is an example of how Bitcoin miners can work with energy companies.
MARA Price Action: Marathon Holdings shares trade at $8.69 on Friday.
Additional reporting by Zoltan Suranyi
Photo: Screenshot of Fred Thiel via Marathon Digital Holdings YouTube video
© 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.