Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Prohibit Crypto Mining in NY, Pending Environmental Assessments

Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Prohibit Crypto Mining in NY, Pending Environmental Assessments

Bitcoin’s rallies have brought the crypto industry to the fore of financial services, but it has also presented environmental issues. Bitcoin mining has shot up due to increased demand for the world’s oldest cryptocurrency.

But the discourse is gradually turning on the energy consumption of the premier digital asset.

Bill To Prohibit Crypto Mining Introduced

Following energy concerns elicited by Bitcoin mining, a new bill was introduced at the New York State Senate to address the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining centers.

The bill called New York Senate Bill 6486 and introduced by Senator Kevin Parker aims to stop crypto mining plants from working until their environmental impact can be determined.

The bill has been sent to the State Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee for further review.

According to the bill’s provisions, all crypto mining firms would observe a three-year hiatus wherein the state would conduct a comprehensive survey of the environmental impact of the firm’s greenhouse gas emissions from mining cryptocurrencies.

It will also look into the likely impact on water quality, air quality, and the wildlife in the environment.

The inspection would then be concluded with a 120-day public comment period and a public hearing. Mining plants found to be toxic to the environment would not be permitted to operate.

The bill introduced on Monday by Senator Parker noted that this step was necessary given the rising impact of climate change on the health, welfare, and economy of New York. It also said that severe climate conditions have led to flooding, rising sea levels, heat waves, coastal erosion, unpredictable weather conditions, loss of wildlife, increased risk of disease outbreak, and several other causes.

The document also pointed out that crypto transactions, most especially Bitcoin’s, consumed too much energy. It estimates the power needed to process transactions in a month as the same amount used by a country.

BTC Contributing To Global Warming

Previously, the general criticism against crypto and Bitcoin was the volatility surrounding them. Before this issue was solved, Bitcoin’s detractors shifted to the energy needed to process transactions.

Bitcoin uses a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm, which can be energy-consuming. Some groups have argued that Bitcoin transactions require more energy than countries like Argentina and Sweden consume yearly. But others say that this could be good for the world.

Popular fintech Square revealed in its report that Bitcoin could lead the world to cut down on its carbon footprint. The tech giant believes BTC could force the world to look into renewable energy sources to generate power.

According to the report, Bitcoin miners are poised to capitalize on and leverage renewable sources. Per the report,

“Bitcoin miners are unique energy buyers in that they offer highly flexible and easily interruptible load, provide a payout in a globally liquid cryptocurrency, and are completely location agnostic, requiring only an internet connection.”

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Comedian Bill Maher Doesn’t ‘Get’ Bitcoin; Money, Unlike Crypto, is ‘Generated by Something Real’

Comedian Bill Maher Doesn’t ‘Get’ Bitcoin; Money, Unlike Crypto, is ‘Generated by Something Real’

According to him, Bitcoin’s “power is based solely on enough children believing in it.” Let’s not tell him about USD or fiat money.

Television host Bill Maher is the latest to mock cryptocurrencies. Taking a jab at Dogecoin (DOGE) on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ show, the comedian said, as “Far as I can tell, it’s exactly the same as the other cryptocurrencies because the whole thing is a joke.”

Referring to it as an “Easter bunny cartoon cash,” he then compared it to Tinkerbell from Peter Pan, saying, “Its power is based solely on enough children believing in it.”

But this wasn’t all; he then shared his views on Bitcoin’s environmental impact, which he says involves “more energy than Netflix, Apple, Facebook, and Google combined.” Each transaction, according to him, “uses more electricity than a million Visa transactions and has the same carbon footprint as watching 85,000 hours of YouTube.”

Where are these estimates even coming from? No one knows.

Attacking the power used by Bitcoin mining, Maher cited Microsoft founder Bill Gates, “Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind.”

He then goes on to quote a journal that stated that “bitcoin’s growth could single-handedly push global temperatures above the tipping point of 2 degrees celsius.”

Here, Nic Carter, co-founder of Coin Metrics, posted a video in rebuttal, saying the paper quoted is not a solid basis for claims against Bitcoin as it has been widely critiqued both by academics and industry practitioners.

According to Maher, however, Bitcoin supporters are “money-hungry opportunist(s), and you’re not allowed to pretend you care about the environment.”

He then tries to explain that “money had to originate from and be generated by something real somewhere, to which cryptocurrency says no it doesn’t.”

“Cars are bad for the environment, but at least they take you somewhere,” added Maher. He then called out Tesla CEO Elon Musk for supporting cryptocurrencies.

“How can Tesla be all-in on saving the planet with electric cars and then participate in destroying it with this completely unnecessary online play-money?” Well, that should tell you something.

But he found support in Warren Buffett, quoting him on Bitcoin having no intrinsic value and that one just hopes for somebody to pay more money for them.

The crux is simple, as Maher said, “I still don’t get it,” despite claiming to have read about cryptos and had them explained to him. But he goes one step further, “neither do you or anyone else.” He also quoted The Black Swan author Nassim Taleb who called bitcoin an “open ponzi scheme.”

Of course, the crypto community took offense at his uninformed takes and shared Maher’s just as ridiculous takes on cell phones, social media, global pandemic, and more. Even a Maher fan tweeted,

“Huge fan Bill but this is terrible research. Don’t you think? Buffett is 100 years old; he doesn’t know tech. The USD is backed by nothing either & they don’t just print 1 trillion bitcoin out of nowhere, devaluing it like USD.”

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Author: AnTy

Louisiana Passes Bill Encouraging Bitcoin’s Increased Usage while Commending it on its Success

Louisiana Passes Bill Encouraging Bitcoin’s Increased Usage while Commending it on its Success

The state of Louisiana has passed a bill that encourages the use of Bitcoin while commanding the trillion-dollar crypto asset for its success and its pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto for his contribution to economic security.

While time and again, unfounded claims of the government banning Bitcoin spurs a sell-off in the market, state government bodies are busy taking this revolution forward and capitalizing on this technology.

Joining Wyoming, Kentucky, Miami, and Jackson is Louisiana, which is the latest one to lend its support to the cryptocurrency industry.

“To commend Bitcoin for its success in becoming the first decentralized trillion-dollar asset and to encourage the state and local governments to consider ways that could help them benefit from the increased use of this new technology,” reads the bill HR33.

Dated April 22nd, the bill talks about Bitcoin’s potential to replace gold as a monetary reserve, with a limited supply cap that utilizes a peer-to-peer, open-source, automated digital asset trading platform without the need of a third party.

It then goes on to note that not only has Bitcoin proven to be a critical tool for businesses, but it has also “proven to be a critical tool for citizens around the world to protect themselves from currency debasement.”

As the demand for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin increases, there is also an increased need for community currencies which basically help facilitate local transactions within groups with common needs, reads the bill.

One such community currency is Moxey; a proprietary digital community currency invented in Louisiana itself. This currency allows businesses to provide access to new customers, better access to capital, and new tools for employee bonuses and compensation.

“The House of Representatives of the Legislature of Louisiana does hereby commend Bitcoin for its success in becoming the first decentralized trillion dollar asset and encourage the state and local governments to consider ways that could help them benefit from the increased use of this new technology,” it concludes.

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Author: AnTy

India’s Minister of Finance Says Cryptocurrency Bill is Designed To Protect Investors

India’s Minister of Finance Says Cryptocurrency Bill is Designed To Protect Investors

India’s crypto tale might not end anytime soon. In the latest episode, the country’s Minister of State Finance and Corporate Affairs has commented on the government’s crypto position.

Crypto Bill To Protect Investors

India’s Minister of State Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur spoke on the reasonable steps the government may take to regulate crypto in the Asian nation.

According to Thakur, the government only intends to protect crypto investors from the underlying volatility surrounding cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. BTC 0.00% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 63,358.91
Volume 77.47 b Change $0.00 Open $63,358.91 Circulating 18.68 m Market Cap 1.18 t
3 h India’s Minister of Finance Says Cryptocurrency Bill is Designed To Protect Investors 4 h CBDC’s Unlikely To Threaten Cryptocurrencies, Market Has Evolved: Morgan Stanley Report 6 h Coinbase Is Now Live On Nasdaq, Valuation Soars Past $100 Billion with Shares Trading Above $400

Thakur said the price fluctuations of cryptocurrencies relative to fiat were high and disturbing, which could negatively impact investors.

Accordingly, the government would frame regulations focused on protecting these investors from this volatility. However, he did not state how the government intends to achieve this.

The Indian crypto narrative has been fraught with a lot of counter-intuitive hints from government officials.

With some supporting an outright ban and the creation of a digital rupee to address growing market needs. Others have called for a more temperate regulatory framework to encourage the nascent industry. And as with all things political and diplomatic, much of the masses have been left in the dark.

According to the Finance Minister, the crypto bill was scheduled to be heard by the lower chamber of the Indian parliament on April 8 but was postponed due to the ongoing elections in the country.

This continued suspense is seeing a lot of crypto-facing businesses and enthusiasts getting tensed and agitated.

But some industry experts in the crypto space are pointing to Thakur’s comments as a light in the night. To them, the government may be considering something in the angle of a “circuit breaker,” which will see limits introduced on the number of transactions that could be done in Bitcoin exchanges. They believe this is a sign that the government may be considering a regulation rather than an outright ban of emerging technology.

But others feel this is not the case.

Dark Days Ahead for India’s Crypto Space

Founder of crypto fantasy trading app SuperStox Zakhil Suresh pointed to the ambiguity surrounding the minister’s message. According to Suresh, the minister is interested only in protecting crypto investors from cryptocurrencies and not protecting crypto investors.

“What if that ‘protection’ is actually in the form of … keeping people away from crypto?” Suresh told news outlet Decrypt.

He also said that the minister declined to comment on whether or not the government was considering a ban on cryptocurrencies in its draft bill. To him, this is frustrating and unnecessary.

The growing consternation concerning the crypto bill is understandable given that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been a staunch supporter of a crypto ban.

In a 2018 blanket ban on crypto, the Indian government stopped all crypto activities in the country.

Although it was later overruled in a Supreme Court judgment in 2020, the fight has continued with a 2019 anti-crypto bill recommending harsh measures like jailing crypto investors for up to ten years.

For now, the saga continues.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Senate Committee Approves Wyoming Bill; One Step Closer to Giving DAO Legal Standing

Senate Committee Approves Wyoming Bill; One Step Closer to Giving DAO Legal Standing

Wyoming ranks as one of the most forward-thinking states in developing and improving legislation on a blockchain. Once again, the state aims to make history in this regard as the Senate committee approved a bill recognizing decentralized autonomous organizations, or popularly known as DAOs, as companies.

The law is currently in Wyoming’s House of Representatives and, if passed without amendments, will become the first state to recognize decentralized governance systems.

DAOs employ decentralized governance using smart contracts. These platforms function without a hierarchy, whereby everyone on the platform has equal control over the decisions and voting processes. According to OpenLaw’s Aaron Wright, who was involved in drafting the bill, the law, if implemented, will boost the overall participation of DAOs in the state. He tweeted,

“Well-intentioned DAO creators will have tremendous freedom to structure their affairs using any mix of statutory filings, legal agreements, or smart contracts to organize.”

“This flexibility will give folks the ability to play with governance and DAO structuring productively.”

This will also add legitimacy to these DAOs and cryptocurrency projects, allowing them to operate as Limited Liability Companies (LLCs). However, the bill still has some straightening on pertinent issues around cryptocurrencies and blockchains, Wright said.

Issues surrounding the DAO’s interests, their tokens, and whether their tokens classify as securities need to be solved before they can be passed to law.

Preston Bryne, partner at Anderson Kill Law and a member at Adam Smith Institute, however, called for the bill to be scrapped as it could encourage scam companies’ formation. In a short thread on Twitter, Bryne wrote,

“Wyoming; scrap this bill. “DAO” is language long used by token hawkers to justify selling shitcoins and half-baked code. They don’t incorporate an LLC because they don’t want to KYC their members and be responsible for what the DAOs do. Don’t enable this behavior.”

He further explains that DAOs do not need to be licensed companies due to management issues that arise from voters being anonymous.

“Companies are supposed to be made up of and managed by people. They exist to protect people working in concert.”

“DAOs, at least to date, protect their members by obfuscation and anonymity. The state doesn’t need to step in here to grant them a corporate veil.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Kentucky Legislators Approve A Bill To Offer Tax Breaks For Crypto Miners

Kentucky Legislators Approve A Bill To Offer Tax Breaks For Crypto Miners

After a 19 to 2 vote, Kentucky legislators voted in favor of a bill likely to attract crypto miners to the state.

On Tuesday Kentucky House budget committee okayed House Bill 230, which proposes tax breaks to crypto mining businesses that open their shop in the state of Kentucky.

A Kentucky-based publication Lexington Herald-Leader reported that the new bill aims at introducing sales and use tax breaks specifically for electricity purchased for use in crypto mines that, in essence, operate on a 24/7 basis.

According to a government’s fiscal note in relation to the bill, the state is likely to lose about $9 million per annum if the bill goes through. The loss is approximated on the assumption that at least one mining farm will be established in the coming year while the existing ones will take advantage of the bill to maximize their profits.

The new bill is in tandem with the government’s broad efforts to attract as many tech startups in the state by offering various tax incentives. In related news, the House budget committee okayed another separate bill to offer similar tax breaks for firms starting open data centers within the state.

Representative Steven Rudy, who sponsored the bill, said that Kentucky needs to become a center of crypto miners as it’s an industry growing rapidly. He said,

“Mining for cryptocurrency takes a lot of electricity. It is very heavily impactful on industrial-type things. It is not just a few people sitting in their mom’s basement or in their parents’ basement writing code. This is actually highly sophisticated, highly technical.”

The bill will now be introduced to Kentucky’s upper house for a review. This will join the Senate’s similar bill offering tax breaks on mining-based businesses. However, the bill was opposed by some lawmakers citing that mining businesses use high volumes of electricity, which is not a good thing for the state.

The new developments come in the wake of heightened mining activities across the country brought about by the surging prices of digital assets as well as the entry of institutional investors in the crypto space.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

State of Wyoming Drafts Bill to Develop a Blockchain-Based Commercial Filing System

State of Wyoming Drafts Bill to Develop a Blockchain-Based Commercial Filing System

Wyoming’s blockchain-friendly state drafts a bill to launch a commercial filing system update built on blockchain technology. The bill aims to authorize the secretary of state to develop and implement a system for company filings on distributed ledgers.

According to the new bill, Wyoming’s state will implement blockchain as the base technological framework for filing systems by December 31, 2021. The system aims to enhance the transparency and security of filing systems across corporations, partnerships, and associations. Companies in Wyoming will now fill in data, file reports, and information on the blockchain-based system as required by law.

Additionally, the filing system will also include APIs, increased security measures, authenticated digital corporate identity, and other features targeting to enhance efficient administration of laws in the state, the bill further states.

A definite development procedure is yet to be set, but the system can either be built from scratch or use privately created blockchain or other DLTs.

Before being tabled in the house, the bill invites consultation from businesses, individuals, and other states before implementation.

Following the election of crypto-friendly Cynthia Lummis to the US Senate, the State of Wyoming looks like the likely destination for crypto companies to settle in, as rules and laws favor the growth of the industry.

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Author: Lujan Odera

4th Richest Billionaire, Bill Gates, Shares Opinions on Bitcoin; Throws Shade At the Asset’s Volatility

4th Richest Billionaire, Bill Gates, Shares Opinions on Bitcoin; Throws Shade At the Asset’s Volatility

Bill Gates has claimed that he doesn’t hold a specific view on Bitcoin as an investment. Microsoft has refrained from integrating Bitcoin in any way, although the company’s bosses aren’t ruling it out.

  • Bitcoin continues to draw reactions from some of the world’s most notable names, whether in tech, political, or finance.
  • In a recent interview, however, Microsoft founder and former chief executive Bill Gates explained that he is standing on the fence regarding the asset.

Sitting on the Fence

Bill Gates appeared on CNBC Squawk Box, where he spoke with host Andrew Ross Sorkin on several topics, including cryptocurrency. Sharing a summary of the interview, Sorkin explained that he had approached the billionaire about his opinions on Bitcoin and its climate change implications.

Like many billionaires, Gates has focused more on his philanthropic efforts in the past few years. After spending decades fighting malaria, the billionaire is now looking to improve environmental sustainability and eradicate the coronavirus. Considering that Bitcoin had always been criticized for the effect that mining has on the environment, Sorkin was curious to know Gates’ take on the leading cryptocurrency.

Sharing his views, Gates explained that he is pretty much sitting on the fence as far as Bitcoin is concerned. The billionaire explained that while he doesn’t own any Bitcoin, he doesn’t think less of the leading digital asset as well.

However, Gates went in a more nuanced direction, explaining that he recognized Bitcoin’s potential for digitizing asset management and speeding up transactions. Comparing that to the work of his Gates Foundation, the former CEO explained,

“I do think moving money into a more digital form and getting transaction costs down, that’s something the Gates Foundation does in developing countries. But there, we do it so that you can reverse the transactions and you have total visibility over who’s doing what.”

Gates added that he was also skeptical of Bitcoin’s volatility, explaining that he didn’t know how to predict the asset’s progression since it always seems susceptible to speculative mania.

Microsoft Watches as Tech Goes Crypto

While Gates appears to be minding his words, the billionaire has been a pretty sharp critic of cryptocurrencies in the past. In a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session back in 2018, the billionaire criticized cryptocurrencies’ anonymous nature, explaining that it was generally not a good thing,

At the time, Gates explained that cryptocurrencies were being used to purchase illegal drugs and substances from nefarious individuals. Given that these drugs end up in the United States and have been feeding the country’s opioid crisis, he pinned some of the country’s drug-related deaths on cryptocurrencies.

Gates and Microsoft also appear to remain uncommitted to cryptocurrencies, despite the market’s incredible maturity over the past year.

Several tech companies already made the move to crypto in the past few months, including auto manufacturer Tesla and payment processors MasterCard and PayPal. This week, e-commerce behemoth Amazon also posted job openings for engineers as it looks to build a digital currency. Despite all these tech-crypt integrations, Microsoft has chosen to stay away from the crypto market.

Brad Smith, the Seattle-based tech giant’s president, told CNN this week that they have so far not had any discussions about making any crypto investments. While he left the door open for a possible pivot, he asserted that there are no plans for now.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Russian Legislators Advance the Crypto Tax Bill Recognizing Digital Assets as Property

Russian Legislators Advance the Crypto Tax Bill Recognizing Digital Assets as Property

  • Russia’s lower legislation house, State Duma, advanced the crypto tax bill, which aims to recognize digital assets as property for taxation purposes.

The world’s largest country is moving closer to setting up crypto taxation laws after the lower representative house. State Duma passed the first reading on the draft bill affecting digital assets. The crypto tax bill, introduced to parliament by the government, aims to recognize cryptocurrency assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum as property to apply the Tax Code, the report reads.

According to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, these new laws will enable crypto owners to have a legal standpoint in court and defend themselves as property.

Additionally, the new amendments to the Tax laws state that income from cryptocurrency transfers and transactions will be liable to property or income tax payments. Citizens and organizations will also have to declare any transfers above 600,000 rubles (~$8,200) per year. However, digital asset transactions will not be liable to VAT and depreciation.

According to the report, non-payment or incomplete payment of the tax on digital assets will attract a penalty of 40% of the required amount. Lack of reporting, untimely submission, or submission of a declaration with inaccurate information will attract a 10% fine on the amount required by the government.

In the second reading, the State Duma plans to release a comprehensive report clarifying which digital asset transactions are tax-exempt, who submits the reports to the tax office, and how to inform authorities on disposing of the assets.

The newly amended bill does not change President Putin’s signed law requiring Russian state officials to disclose their digital asset holdings and maintains digital assets are not a legal means of payment.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Iowa Senate Introduces Blockchain Bill to Regulate Smart Contracts as Law

Iowa Senate Introduces Blockchain Bill to Regulate Smart Contracts as Law

Iowa is the latest state in the U.S. to introduce a bill targeting blockchain technology and smart contracts. The bill aims to level the playing field between smart contracts and traditional contracts.

The state of Iowa introduced a partisan bill that recognizes and regulates blockchain technology and its smart contracts logic similar to traditional arrangements. Senate Bill 303, presented to the chamber by Republican State Senator Mark Lofgren, states there will be an oversight on smart contracts and anyone using a distributed ledger technology will be liable to similar laws as currently stipulated for traditional record keepers.

“A contract shall not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because an electronic record was used in its formation,” the bill reads, “or because the contract is a smart contract or contains a smart contract provision.”

Additionally, the bill also adds the concept of security through DLTs to define an “electronic record” and “electronic signature.”

The state of Iowa has been experimenting with blockchain technology and DLTs with the Iowa Democratic Party’s Caucus once trying out a mobile voting app built on the blockchain.

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Author: Lujan Odera