Bitcoin isn’t yet widely accepted. Its anonymous nature, volatile prices, and unregulated operations are a recipe for disaster, for some. But it’s a different story in a rural town in the suburbs of New York state. In Plattsburgh, a town of 20,000 inhabitants, Bitcoin was is seen as an industry full of potential — until now.
The town initially viewed Bitcoin as a lucrative industry. In fact, they transitioned an old paper mill into a Bitcoin mining hub, proof of how the townsfolk approved of the revolutionary tech.
Now, the town’s crypto mining industry is thriving, but because of this, Plattsburgh officials decided to put a moratorium on all Bitcoin mining activities. The law was tabled by Mayor Colin Read on March 1, in hopes of stopping new Bitcoin mining operations from popping up while electricity zoning regulations are still being drafted.
A meeting concerning the matter will be held on March 15. Mining Bitcoin is a new opportunity for the residents of Plattsburgh. However, the Bitcoin mining process is exceptionally energy-intensive; the process uses a lot of electricity.
To mine Bitcoin at scale, miners need to run lots of powerful computer equipment 24/7 in a race to crack the crypto codes that help generate new Bitcoin. Environmental advocates aren’t happy with this, and that’s why an electricity debate regarding crypto mining was arranged.
Not surprisingly, crypto business owners in the city like David Bowman don’t approve of the upcoming policy. The entrepreneur said that the proposed law would only waste the opportunity and potential of an innovation that can improve the economy of Plattsburgh.
He added that the technology is still in its early stages, that’s why it isn’t yet very appealing. Bowman compared it to the early years of the internet where people remained skeptical — similar to what’s currently happening with Bitcoin.
“But look at where the internet is now, it has become a staple of daily living,” Bowman added. He then concluded that Plattsburgh will miss all the benefits that this new technology can give the city.
On the other side of the issue are the energy concerns of the city. Mayor Read said in a statement that Bitcoin mining operations in the city consume around 10% of its power resources.
What makes it even more surprising is that only two crypto mining businesses consume this 10%. If more mining hubs enter the scene, this could lead to an energy shortage and energy price hikes.
Plattsburgh is different from other U.S. cities because much of its energy comes mostly from hydroelectric power. Unfortunately, Bitcoin mining is forcing the city to purchase extra power, from nearby states where the prices are higher.