Why a city banned crypto mining
The US city of Plattsburgh has introduced an 18-month moratorium on any new cryptocurrency mining operations. The move aims to prevent more miners leaning on the city’s low-cost power for their energy-intensive activities.
Plattsburgh, in New York state, reckons it has some of the cheapest electricity around thanks to a hydroelectric dam on the St Lawrence River – and that has made the place attractive to crypto miners. According to local reports, one operator, Puerto Rica-based Coinmint, used around 10% of the city’s total power allocation in the first two months of the year.
Increased mining usage has seen the city having to purchase more-expensive electricity on the open market, and that has pushed up locals’ energy bills. And that’s why the city council voted to impose the moratorium on cryptocurrency mining.
Plattsburgh mayor Colin Read told Motherboard that letting in more miners could leave no cheap energy at all for residents. “Some of the proposals we’ve been seeing, they want to take 20 or 30 megawatts of power, and we don’t have that.”
Québec Premier Philippe Couillard recently came out against crypto miningwith his state also popular with operators due to its cheap energy. Dismissing cryptocurrencies, he says he wants companies looking to help create “a real ecosystem or a real technological transformation centred on blockchain.”