The city of Plattsburgh, New York, has collectively voted to place an 18-month ban on any new commercial cryptocurrency mines. The small city in upstate New York has banned mining of any cryptocurrency, and for good reason. And that reason is the rising costs of electricity.
All of the residents of Plattsburgh suddenly found themselves in the center of a very exciting new industry, when various cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin rose in popularity last year. But they were also facing the issue of making the mining of said cryptocurrency, which became a very popular industry very quickly, sustainable.
Mining of cryptocurrency is a very energy-intensive computational process. During this process, the miners are rewarded with pieces of cryptocurrency. And even though very few of the attendees at the hearing in Plattsburgh even knew how mining for cryptocurrencies actually worked, all of them had already experienced the negative consequences that are related to the industry.
Many people had grown upset over the increase in the cost of the electric bills, which had gone up by $100 or $200, and after hearing comments from the locals for an hour, some of the professors that work at the nearby university, and also mine for Bitcoin, voted to pass the bill. And so, Plattsburgh became, albeit temporarily the first city within the United States, that has banned commercial cryptocurrency mining.
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For decades, the residents of this small town had been enjoying having access to some of the cheapest power in the world. As a result, they also got a new hydroelectric dam, which was built on the St. Lawrence River, during the late 50s. This way, every month, the city gets a certain amount of power that the dam produces. And if the city needs more power, they can buy it from other power plants, at a premium rate. This made the town a hotspot for mining, which managed to consume about 10 percent of the town’s power per mining operation. But the costs were distributed among all of the residents and the businesses in town, who may have nothing to do with mining, but paid their bills nevertheless. So, in order to sort out all of the issues when it comes to power supply, they have temporarily banned mining as the most effective solution for the time being.