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Pro-cryptocurrency Eric Adams comes out against crypto mining

New York City Mayor Eric Adams wants to make the Big Apple a center of cryptocurrency trading, but he now says he is siding with environmentalists who oppose the energy-intensive process of mining the digital currencies. “I support cryptocurrency, not crypto mining,” Adams told a joint session of state legislators in Albany on Wednesday. Just before entering office, Adams famously pledged to accept his first three paychecks in bitcoin and ethereum. But environmentalists criticized the mayor for not taking a more forceful stand against the mining process, which green activists say will expedite the negative effects of climate change due to the sheer amount of energy required to create the digital coins. New York state lawmakers and local residents have lined up against a gas-powered plant upstate that is being used to maintain a mining operation. Locals, who have protested the operations of the plant — which is on the shores of Seneca Lake — have expressed concern that it’s polluting the air and heating the lake, the largest of the Finger Lakes. Seneca Lake Guardian, an environmental nonprofit, praised Adams’ statement on Wednesday. “Seneca Lake Guardian is relieved to see that Mayor Adams has heard us and understands the major threats that Bitcoin mining poses to New York State,” said the group’s president, Joseph Campbell. “Bitcoin mining could cost New Yorkers millions of dollars in energy bills while kneecapping local businesses, poisoning our water, and filling our air with deadly CO2 emissions.” The plant’s operator, Greenidge Generation, insists the plant is carbon-neutral and is not having a major impact on the local environment. Dale Irwin, CEO of Greenidge, has said recently that “the claim that Greenidge’s fully permitted operation would have any impact on the quality and viability of Seneca Lake is beyond absurd.” The Post has reached out to Greenidge seeking comment. The mining of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, entails the use of sophisticated computers by miners who must solve complex mathematical problems. The miners are then rewarded for their efforts by being issued digital coins and introducing new currency into circulation. Some foreign governments like China, Kosovo and Kazakhstan have cracked down on mining after their energy grids were unable to sustain the stress caused by the process.

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