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New York Governor Signs Law Partially Banning Bitcoin Mining On Fossil Fuels

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New York Governor Signs Law Partially Banning Bitcoin Mining On Fossil Fuels

A moratorium on some crypto mining operations relying on carbon-based energy has been signed into law in New York. Businesses engaged in proof-of-work mining in the state will not be able to expand or renew their permits for the next two years as a result of the ban, which is likely to have consequences for the industry across the United States.

‘First of Its Kind’ PoW Mining Moratorium Takes Effect in New York

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law on Tuesday partially banning cryptocurrency mining using power generated from fossil fuels. The legislation will prevent companies involved in proof-of-work (PoW) mining that don’t use solely renewable energy such as hydropower from expanding, and renewing or obtaining new permits in the next two years.

The bill introducing the temporary restrictions, which passed the state assembly and senate this past spring, targets specifically PoW authentication, the method employed to validate blockchain transactions for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, as it requires significant amounts of electricity to run the powerful computing hardware.

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In a legal filing quoted by the CNBC, Hochul noted that the decision “is the first of its kind in the country.” According to a report by Bloomberg, the governor has been postponing the signing of the mining law amid intensive lobbying from the sector. She also emphasized her intention to “ensure that New York continues to be the center of financial innovation” while prioritizing environmental protection.

Representatives of the industry fear that the ban could have a domino effect across the U.S., a major player in the crypto mining market. The nation’s share of the average monthly global hashrate neared 38% in January, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index. The Chamber of Digital Commerce issued a warning statement:

The approval will set a dangerous precedent in determining who may or may not use power in New York State.

The law would weaken New York’s economy and stifle its future as a leader in technology and global financial services, said the Chamber’s founder and chief executive Perianne Boring. In earlier comments, she also pointed out that the decision will eliminate jobs and “disenfranchise financial access to the many underbanked populations.”

According to other experts, the moratorium could force crypto mining companies to relocate to more favorable jurisdictions such as Georgia, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Wyoming, with jobs and tax money moving out of New York. Among them is Texas, which in addition to friendly regulations also offers access to abundant renewable power and excess energy from sources like stranded gas.

Aggressive carbon-reduction targets were also part of the reasoning behind last year’s government crackdown on crypto mining in China, the former leader in the industry. In Europe, proponents of the idea to ban PoW mining attempted to add provisions prohibiting services for cryptocurrencies that rely on the energy-intensive mining method to the EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation. In October, amid limited energy supplies from Russia, Brussels renewed efforts to reduce power consumption in crypto extraction.

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ban, bill, Bitcoin, Bitcoin mining, Carbon, carbon targets, Crypto, crypto miners, crypto mining, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Electricity, Energy, environment goals, fossil fuels, Governor, Law, Miners, mining, moratorium, new york, power, restrictions, Signing, U.S., United States, US

Do you expect other states to impose similar restrictions following the enforcement of the PoW mining ban in New York? Let us know in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Ron Adar / Shutterstock.com

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Crypto Exchanges Must Comply With Russia Sanctions, Singapore Central Bank Says

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Crypto Exchanges Must Comply With Russia Sanctions, Singapore Central Bank Says

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has reiterated that cryptocurrency exchanges need to conform to restrictions on Russian users imposed over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The reminder comes after researchers established that pro-Russia activists have raised millions of dollars in digital assets to support its war effort.

Singapore Says Measures Targeting Russia Apply to All Financial Institutions, Including Crypto Exchanges

Compliance with financial sanctions on Russia is a must for licensed cryptocurrency exchanges, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) commented for local media on Monday. The statement comes after recent studies found that pro-Russian groups have received crypto donations worth millions of U.S. dollars to fund Russian military operations in Ukraine.

Following Russia’s invasion in late February, MAS introduced in March financial measures aimed at designated Russian banks, entities, and activities, including fundraising benefiting the Russian government. Responding to queries from Channel News Asia (CNA), a TV channel owned by the national broadcaster Mediacorp, the bank insisted:

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These measures apply to all financial institutions in Singapore, including digital payment token service providers (DPTSPs) licensed to operate in Singapore.

The regulator did not specify if it had received any reports of exchanges being used to channel cryptocurrency to pro-Russian groups. Nevertheless, the authority emphasized that crypto service providers must have robust controls in order to avoid dealing with sanctioned banks and banned activities.

The MAS pointed out that these platforms should perform customer due diligence to verify the identities of their customers and screen their transacting counterparties. DPTSPs are also required to monitor for potential attempts to evade the prohibitions such as the use of mixers and tumblers, the central bank elaborated.

A report released by the blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis in July, identified more than 50 organizations that had collected over $2.2 million worth of cryptocurrency to support the Russian side in the Ukraine war. Andrew Fierman, head of sanctions strategy at the company, now told CNA that crypto donations, used to buy anything from drones to bulletproof vests, have already reached $4.8 million.

According to research published in October by another crypto tracing platform, TRM Labs, as of Sept. 22 the pro-Russian groups had raised $400,000 since the start of Russia’s invasion on Feb 24 this year. Some of these organizations and activists have already been placed under Western sanctions.

While Singapore has welcomed the adoption of cryptocurrencies as they play a supporting role in the digital asset ecosystem, the city-state is also seeking to reduce risks for retail crypto investors through tighter regulations proposed last week by the MAS. Among the suggested measures are a risk awareness assessment for investors and a ban on the use of borrowed funds for crypto trading.

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ban, Central Bank, circumvention, Crypto, crypto exchanges, crypto platforms, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, evasion, fundraising, Groups, MAS, Measures, monetary authority, pro-Russian, prohibition, restrictions, Russia, russian, Sanctions, service providers, Singapore, Ukraine, War

Do you expect Singapore to take additional measures to prevent sanctions evasion through crypto-platforms licensed in its jurisdiction? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Dapper Labs Suspends NFT Operations For Russian Users Amid New EU Sanctions

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Dapper Labs Suspends NFT Operations For Russian Users Amid New EU Sanctions

Canadian company Dapper Labs has blocked operations with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for Russian accounts. The move follows a new round of sanctions recently imposed by the EU which prohibit the provision of crypto-related services to Russian residents and entities.

NFT Platform Dapper Labs Conforms to Latest EU Restrictions Against Russian Federation

Dapper Labs, the creators of the Flow blockchain network and projects like Cryptokitties and NBA Top Shot, has complied with the new restrictive measures adopted by the European Union in response to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

The eighth package of EU sanctions was approved by Brussels on Thursday, Oct. 6, after the latest escalation of the conflict with Russia announcing partial mobilization and taking steps to annex four Ukrainian regions through what the bloc sees as fake referendums.

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The penalties, targeting the Russian economy, government and foreign trade, also feature financial measures affecting the business activities of crypto companies. The latter have been prohibited from providing any wallet, account, or custody services to Russian nationals.

The restrictions apply regardless of the amount of digital assets, tightening the regime in comparison with the fifth round of sanctions imposed earlier this year, when only “high-value” crypto-asset services were banned, those for crypto holdings exceeding €10,000 ($11,000 at the time).

Russian Users to Keep NFTs Bought Before Ban and Have Access to Their Accounts

“Our payment processing and stored value service partner is subject to EU regulations and has directed us to take action on all accounts held by those impacted by the Oct. 6 restrictions, consistent with EU law,” Dapper Labs explained in a notice published on its website.

As a result, the company said, Dapper has had to suspend accounts with connections to Russia from the purchase, sale, or gifting of any Moment across all Dapper Sports, any withdrawals from Dapper accounts, and Dapper balance purchases.

The NFT platform pointed out, however, that the accounts were not closed. Impacted users will be able to access them and view their tokens. They will also keep any previously purchased NFTs. “Any Moments you own and any Dapper Balance continue to be your property,” Dapper assured while apologizing for any inconvenience.

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Other crypto companies with presence in Europe are likely to adopt similar measures but the restrictions may not affect all global platforms. For example, Binance has reportedly informed users in Russia it did not introduce new restrictions, according to Russian crypto media. That’s despite the world’s largest crypto exchange complying with the previous round of European crypto sanctions.

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ban, Crypto, crypto services, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, CryptoKitties, Dapper, Dapper Labs, EU, european, European Union, Moments, NBA Top Shot, nft platform, NFTs, restrictions, Russia, russian, Sanctions, sanctions package, sanctions round, Tokens

Do you expect other crypto businesses to suspend services for Russian account holders? Let us know in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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EU Bans Crypto Services For Russians In New Sanctions Over Ukraine Escalation

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EU Bans Crypto Services For Russians In New Sanctions Over Ukraine Escalation

An array of crypto-related services have been targeted in the latest round of sanctions on Russia approved by the EU. The measures are part of an expected tightening of the economic and financial restrictions in response to Moscow’s decision to annex Ukrainian territories.

EU Council Adopts Full Ban on Crypto Wallet and Custody Services for Russian Persons

The Council of the European Union announced new sanctions against Russia on the backdrop of the deepening military conflict in Ukraine. The penalties, expected to hurt the Russian government and economy, come after Moscow took steps to annex the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson.

In a statement, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell emphasized that the sanctions are a response to the latest escalation with the “fake referenda” in these four oblasts. Russian individuals and entities that have played a role in their organization will be specifically targeted.

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Other Russian citizens and businesses are also going to take a hit, including those that deal with cryptocurrencies. The new measures include a full ban on the provision of wallet, account, or custody services for crypto assets to Russian persons and residents. That’s regardless of the value of these assets, according to the eighth package of sanctions imposed by Brussels.

This spring, when the EU approved its fifth round of such measures, the Council prohibited only the provision of “high-value” crypto-asset services to Russians and organizations registered in their country. The ban applied to digital funds exceeding €10,000 (close to $11,000 at the time).

New European Sanctions to Hit Russian Imports and Exports

While the earlier restrictions were meant to limit the transfer of wealth through digital assets and close other loopholes in the crypto space, a recent report revealed that pro-Russian groups have been actively using cryptocurrency, often in small transactions, to fund paramilitary operations in Ukraine. According to the research, they have raised $400,000 in crypto since the start of the invasion in late February. Russian authorities have also been working to allow businesses to employ crypto payments for international settlements.

With the latest move, the EU also bans the provision of IT consultancy and legal advisory services to Russia as well as architectural and engineering services. Russian imports and exports have been targeted, too, including the maritime transport of crude oil and petroleum products to third countries. The provision of related services will be allowed only if these have been purchased at or below a pre-established price cap, which is yet to be determined.

Among the other measures is a ban on EU nationals to hold any posts on the governing bodies of some Russian state-owned or government-controlled entities. The Council also decided to broaden the criteria under which persons can be designated as facilitating the circumvention of restrictions imposed by the European Union. The European Commission, the executive body in Brussels, welcomed the latest sanctions package.

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Do you think the new EU sanctions will significantly limit access to cryptocurrencies for Russians? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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