Michael Colyer is CEO of Foundry, a digital currency company in Rochester.
Cryptocurrency has the potential to reshape the economic landscape of New York State and Central New York. Foundry, for example, is the fastest growing upstate New York-based digital currency company, where we’ve grown to over 140 employees in the past three years. This kind of growth potential is especially important for places in western and central New York, where our cities are often overlooked and underserved due to a half-century of industrial decline.
As CEO of Foundry, I’ve been proud to help create salaried positions that rival Silicon Valley tech companies, and as a SUNY graduate myself, I’ve been thrilled to employ… other SUNY students to keep our talents in the state. I am proud that our work is positioning upstate New York to become a central technology hub for the benefit of the region’s economy. Already, we have achieved international recognition for the caliber of our workforce and innovation.
But in Albany, lawmakers are trying to tear down what we worked for by advancing A.7389C/S.6486C, legislation that, if enacted, would suspend most forms of cryptocurrency mining in the New York State for two years. years. This “Moratorium Bill” would be disastrous for our burgeoning industry and threaten Central New York’s recent growth in this space. On April 27, the New York State Assembly took the drastic step of passing this bill, which means that unless this bill is stopped in the Senate, we are not far of Albany killing the technological and economic opportunities that cryptocurrency presents to the state.
It is frustrating that A.7389C/S.6486 advanced through the Assembly, as the bill is being propagated by misunderstood and ill-conceived conceptions of cryptocurrency and its mining effects. Fear-based misinformation devoid of context is frequently cited when discussing Bitcoin mining processes. Mining is the process of verifying transactions and securing the network that powers Bitcoin’s digital ledger, known as the blockchain.
Blockchains form the basis of all cryptocurrencies and are unique from previous systems because they are decentralized. Unlike a traditional bank, whose network may be hosted on servers in a handful of buildings, Bitcoin’s network exists on thousands of computers in hundreds of countries. This democratizes capital flows and allows the Bitcoin network to operate without authoritarian control. And although Bitcoin mining requires energy consumption, it requires less energy than the high-frequency trading machines used on Wall Street.
Additionally, Bitcoin’s energy consumption does not equate to carbon emissions. Currently, 73% of the industry uses carbon neutral sources. Foundry, along with many of our peers, is part of the Crypto Climate Accord, agreeing to be 100% carbon neutral by 2040. This commitment puts us on the same carbon neutral time horizon as Amazon, Procter & Gamble and Hewlett -Packard.
But if Albany lawmakers craft digital currency policy with too heavy a hand, then New York will miss out on technology that promises investment, jobs and revenue that can drive statewide gains. Passing A.7389C/S.6486C would signal that New York is closed for business, allowing other states to adopt this industry by siphoning off the great minds of New York’s students and residents, as well as any potential future growth , tax revenue and tax benefits.
Instead of stopping cryptocurrency mining, let’s work to educate our lawmakers and residents about the power that cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology hold. Let’s dispel unwarranted fears and look at the facts instead. And then, let’s craft a policy that will spur growth that will allow our state to prosper, as its motto, excellentalways higher.
Opposite view: Finger Lakes Crypto Mine Decision Is Gov. Hochul’s ‘Fracking Moment’ (Russ Haven Guest Review)