What’s Going On?
The New York State town of Plattsburgh became the first American city to prevent new crypto-mining operations as residents face higher electricity bills.
Why Does It Matter?
Other cities around the world might start to take the same kind of action if miners don’t address issues with local communities.
On Thursday 15th March, the city council of Plattsburgh voted unanimously to ban new crypto-mining operations for 18-months. The moratorium does not affect companies already mining there. Plattsburgh prides itself on having the cheapest electricity in the U.S. – thanks to its hydro-electric dam – which has made it a hotspot for crypto-miners who require large amounts of energy to run and cool their machines. But Plattsburgh has a limited allotment of power. In January, the city had to buy electricity on the open market at much higher prices. According to Motherboard this left some residents with bills of up to $200 more than usual. The Mayor of Plattsburgh, Colin Read, said that he would work with miners to solve the problem, but is keen to attract industries that employ more local people.
Why Does Crypto-Mining Use So Much Energy?
The complex mathematical problems used to verify and timestamp transactions on crypto-currency networks require lots of computer processing power and lots of cooling to stop machines quite literally burning up. If the mining of Bitcoin and Ethereum tokens were a country, it would rank 71st in terms of energy consumption.