US Bitcoin Corp – a North American Bitcoin mining firm – has been ordered to cease operations by a State Supreme Court Justice, or face penalties of $10,000 per day.
If the miner continues to operate through the end of January, the fine will increase to $25,000 per day.
US Bitcoin Under Fire
As reported by Lockport Journal on Thursday, the order from Justice Edward Pace is a follow-up to Supreme Court Justice Frank Sedita III’s temporary restraining order issued against the firm on December 1.
The latter justice sought to stop the firm from operating as the Falls sought a preliminary injunction to force the company’s facility to comply with zoning laws governing energy-intensive industries. The city charged the mining facility, based on Buffalo avenue, with violating these laws, and creating “a public nuisance.”
According to Pace, the $10,000 fine will be in place until January 31. Speaking to John P. Bartolomei, an attorney for US Bitcoin, she added that the fine will increase to $25,000 per day after that deadline until the case is fully settled. Bartolomei protested this ruling and said he would appeal the decision to the State Supreme Court Appellate Division Fourth Department.
“If by January 31, (the cryptocurrency mining operation) has not shut down, then a check should be delivered to the city of Niagara Falls on February 1 for $540,000,” Pace said. The $540,000 in payments accounts for a $10,000 penalty every day from December 9 until January 31.
New York’s Mining Crackdown
Despite its historical popularity as a geography for Bitcoin mining, regulation against the industry in New York state hasn’t been the most welcoming.
In November, state governor Kathy Hochul signed a moratorium ending the use of fossil fuels to mine Bitcoin in the region. The measure was taken primarily to meet the state’s economic development and climate goals. Per the company’s website, US Bitcoin’s Niagra Falls facility is 90% powered by zero-emissions electricity – but even hasn’t satisfied the lawyers at the Falls.
New York City mayor Eric Adams, a crypto bull, has previously said he is opposed to Bitcoin mining. However, he later promised to urge governor Hochul to veto the bill banning fossil-fuel-based mining activity, out of concern for the industry’s future growth.