(WENY) – Advocates and community members in the Finger Lakes region have been petitioning against proof of work cryptocurrency mining for over a year, citing concerns about noise levels, the possible environmental impact, increased electric bills and the lack of jobs the industry provides. 

On May 10th, people from Texas, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Kentucky came together in a virtual press conference,  expressing the same concerns that have been expressed by New York advocates. The speakers agreed that they would like to see more regulation and legislation put in place on cryptocurrency mining in their states. 

There are currently six states that are working on legislation specifically for cryptocurrency; New York, California, Washington, Florida, Hawaii and Arizona. 

A bill in the New York State legislature sponsored by Assemblywoman Dr. Anna Kelles (D - Ithaca) , recently passed Assembly and is working its way through the Senate. If passed, Assembly Bill A7389C would establish a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining operations that use proof-of-work authentication methods to validate block chain transitions, by facilities that use "behind the meter" energy sources.

RELATED: NYS Assembly Passes Cryptocurrency Mining Moratorium Legislation 
Treva Gear, education director of the Concerned Citizens of Cook County in Georgia, said her county is currently struggling with Bitcoin mining operations. She said the trouble is no one is aware that the operation is even in the county, and for that reason, some sort of regulation should be put in place.

“We need the regulation, we need it now,” said Gear. “Our environmental justice community and others in our area are constantly being touted by the Bitcoin mining industry .”

Gear also said that Cook County has high levels of poverty and a need for jobs, but she said the Bitcoin mining facility in her county only brings in two jobs. 

“The problem is, this Bitcoin mining industry, under the name of Blocktree, does not provide jobs that we are needing,” said Gear. 

Deborah Gondek, a member of North Towanda’s Climate Smart Task Force, also expressed concern over noise levels coming from facilities in her community in western New York.

“People living as far as a mile from the Digihost facility can hear the noise and feel the vibration in their homes, even with their windows shut,” said Gondek.