Cryptocurrency mining operations in the U.S. state of Washington, and particularly in Columbia Basin, are under threat due to the irritation they cause to residents.
Most recently, the town of Ephrata followed in the footsteps of several other towns in the region that have recently banned or suspended cryptocurrency mining. The city voted this week to temporarily ban the development of new cryptocurrency mining outfits in the city for 12 months until a better plan for how to power them can be evaluated. However, the reason for the vote seems to stem from noise complaints rather than misuse of electricity.
Donna Husties, of Ephrata, complained to local news outlet The Spokesman-Review, saying the noise was “like an ocean” when a mining operation near her home switched on its air conditioners.
City council member Matt Moore was the only one out of six members to vote against the decision, pointing out that the city may not have control over factors that determine the viability of crypto mining operations. He believes they could be economically beneficial for the region.
“I don’t want to surrender any economic opportunity, big or small,” he said.
The four crypto mining outfits that already exist in the city will be allowed to remain operating, although for how long is unsure. One of the areas original mining facilities, Giga Watt, has been struggling to maintain profit in face of the continually declining cryptocurrency market value.
In April next year, the Columbia Basin district of Grant County will be increasing the electricity rate for cryptocurrency mining companies operating in the area in an attempt to deter their ever-growing presence. They have been criticized for using too much power without providing any significant job opportunities or benefits for the surrounding areas.
In order for the cryptocurrency community to help grow adoption and not further alienate outsiders, crypto mining operations should enact social responsibility for the communities they operate in.