Bulletins

Crypto lobbyists have flocked to New York. The future of the industry is at stake.

The New York State legislature is set to consider crypto bills that will help shape the broader regulatory landscape for years to come.

An illustration of crypto coins in a net

New York is set to decide on key pieces of crypto legislation.

Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

Lobbying disclosures show that around a dozen firms in the crypto space — including Digital Currency Group and Blockchain.com — are collectively spending more than $100,000 a month to promote industry-friendly legislation in New York, according to Bloomberg.


More than 20 crypto-related bills have already been introduced in New York state since the start of the year, already surpassing the 2021 total of 16 crypto-related bills introduced in the state. There has been a similar uptick at the national level: 96 crypto-related bills were introduced throughout the U.S. in the first six weeks of 2022, compared to 13 in all of 2021.

BitLicense is one of the most consequential areas of potential de-regulation. Since 2014, New York has only allowed crypto companies to operate in the state if they obtain a BitLicense, and even then, licensed companies are limited in the types of digital assets they can sell. For instance, Coinbase can only offer about half the coins available on its platform to New York customers. Several crypto companies are lobbying to make the BitLicense approval process easier, according to Bloomberg.

The State legislature is also set to decide on a contentious bill that would place a moratorium on all crypto mining operations in the state. In the Finger Lakes region, private equity-backed Greenidge converted a coal power plant into a natural gas plant that fuels 24/7 Bitcoin mining operations. The facility has grown to become one of the largest crypto mining operations in the U.S..

“Given the extraordinarily high energy usage and carbon emissions associated with Bitcoin mining, mining operations at Greenidge and other plants raise concerns about their impacts on the global environment, on local ecosystems, and on consumer electricity costs,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote in a Dec. 2021 letter to Greenidge.

Greenidge says it is carbon neutral and voluntarily purchases carbon offsets. Still, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation found that greenhouse emissions produced by the plant grew almost tenfold between 2019 and 2020. Local environmental advocacy groups have expressed opposition to the plants.

Several of New York’s most powerful politicians are seemingly primed to support crypto-friendly regulation. New York City Mayor Eric Adams converted his paychecks to cryptocurrency as a gesture of goodwill and has expressed his desire for the city to become “the center of the cryptocurrency industry.” Likewise, Adrienne Harris, the state’s superintendent of the Department of Financial Services, sat on the board of the Digital Dollar Foundation, which was created to promote a U.S. central bank digital currency.

Still, in a deep blue state like New York, deregulation of the crypto industry may well be seen as contrary to the strong environmental and consumer protections the state government often supports. If New York does want to attract crypto firms, it will be competing against states such as Texas that have seemingly embraced crypto with little reservation and even less regulation.
Latest Bulletins

Mobile game revenue will decline for the first time in history this year, market research firm Newzoo now says in a revised outlook for the 2022 global games market. While the whole game industry is expected to contract by 4.3% — another first since Newzoo began tracking the market in 2007 — the company is predicting a 6.4% decline in mobile game spending on top of a 4.2% decline in console game spending.

Keep Reading Show less

Amazon is planning to lay off thousands of employees, Protocol has learned, ahead of what the company has cautioned will be a slow holiday shopping season.

Keep Reading Show less

Google agreed to pay $391.5 million and make changes to its user privacy controls as part of a settlement with a coalition of 40 state attorneys general. The coalition accused Google of misleading customers about location-tracking practices that informed ad targeting.

Keep Reading Show less

FTX has filed for bankruptcy and the crypto company also announced that founder Sam Bankman-Fried has resigned as CEO.

Keep Reading Show less

Salesforce recently updated its internal policies to make it easier for managers to terminate employees for performance issues without HR involvement, Protocol has learned, a move that comes as the software giant looks to shed as many as 2,500 jobs.

Keep Reading Show less

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said fraud and scam reports comprise the top complaint it receives about virtual currencies — and that customers are finding little help from companies when it happens.

Keep Reading Show less

Elon Musk sent his first email to Twitter staff late Wednesday, warning of a difficult economic road ahead and telling employees they need to be in office for a minimum of 40 hours per week. "Sorry that this is my first email to the whole company, but there is no way to sugarcoat the message," he began, ominously.

Keep Reading Show less

Binance isn’t buying FTX after all. The crypto giant said Wednesday it has decided that it “will not pursue the potential acquisition” based on a “corporate due diligence” review.

Keep Reading Show less

On Wednesday, John Kerry unveiled a plan for a new carbon credit program aimed at mobilizing private capital to help middle-income countries transition away from coal and move toward renewable energy.

Keep Reading Show less

Meta announced it was laying off more than 11,000 employees Wednesday morning, slashing jobs in its recruiting department and refocusing its remaining team on AI discovery, ads, and its investment in the metaverse.

"I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here," Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a message to employees that was also posted online. "I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry to those impacted."

Keep Reading Show less

Al Gore has one mission this week at COP27, and that’s to give climate negotiators what he hopes will be a critical tool to address the crisis at hand: an independent, global inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, down to the individual facility.

The Climate TRACE coalition just released the world’s most detailed inventory of global greenhouse gas emissions, which Gore, a founding member, is unveiling on Wednesday at the United Nations climate summit in Egypt.

Keep Reading Show less

Way back in March, your friendly Protocol Climate team offered you some tips for writing a climate plan that doesn’t suck. Surely you took that advice. But if for some reason you didn’t, the United Nations has your back.

Keep Reading Show less

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said Tuesday the crypto powerhouse signed a deal to acquire rival FTX.

Keep Reading Show less

Salesforce is preparing for a major round of layoffs that could affect as many as 2,500 workers across the software vendor, Protocol has learned, in a bid to cut costs amid a new activist investor challenge and harsh economic conditions.

Keep Reading Show less

BlockFi has introduced a new digital assets interest product for accredited investors, after previously agreeing to shut down a yield-paying crypto product that the SEC said was illegal.

Keep Reading Show less

The Justice Department said Monday it seized $3.4 billion worth of bitcoin stolen in the 2012 hack of the Silk Road dark web marketplace.

Keep Reading Show less

U.S. election infrastructure is exceedingly secure, and voter fraud here is so rare it’s comparable to your annual chances of getting struck by lightning. Despite this, former President Donald Trump and a long list of allies in the Republican Party have spent the last two years questioning the overall integrity of the U.S. election system. Many of those allies are now candidates themselves, and their coordinated attack on the country’s status as a democracy is not a relic of 2020. Some have already started repeating these “Big Lie” charges ahead of next week’s midterms. And the social platforms that help them spread their message have prepared few measures to stop it.

Keep Reading Show less

The White House just laid out its climate tech priorities to reach net zero by 2050.

Keep Reading Show less

Coinbase said Thursday that it lost more users in the third quarter. But the decline wasn’t the disastrous drop that Wall Street was expecting, and that sparked a rally in the crypto company’s shares after-hours.

Keep Reading Show less

The Biden administration announced $9 billion in funding Wednesday to improve home efficiency, which could help support the installation of up to 500,000 heat pumps. With winter approaching and utilities warning of gas shortages, there are some major challenges facing the technology that money can be used to tackle.

Keep Reading Show less

Block beat earnings expectations, with strong growth largely fueled by its Cash App business. Traders sent shares up more than 12% after-hours Thursday.

Keep Reading Show less

Stripe is laying off 14% of its staff, its co-founders said Thursday, as the fintech startup must start "building differently for leaner times."

Keep Reading Show less

Roku saw its revenue growth slow in Q3, and warned investors Wednesday that things are about to get worse: “A lot of Q4 ad campaigns are being canceled,” said Roku CEO Anthony Wood during the company’s Q4 earnings call. “We’re seeing lots of big categories pull back. Telecom, insurance … even toy marketers are planning on reducing their spending.”

Keep Reading Show less

Green jobs and corporate climate pledges abound, but skilled sustainability professionals are scarce.

Keep Reading Show less

Robinhood reported a drop in third-quarter revenue but also a narrower loss on Wednesday, in a sign that it might be stabilizing its business as it attempts to recover from a staggering drop in the stock and crypto trading activity that fueled its growth.

Keep Reading Show less
Bulletins