The upstate town of Plattsburgh in the United States becomes the first town to enforce an 18-month prohibition period on cryptocurrency mining operations. This town in New York situated close to the Canadian border, have people fed up with cryptocurrency miners using lot of low-cost electricity. This resulted in a Bitcoin mining ban to secure and sustain the natural resources, town’s “character and direction” and the safety of its residents.
On 15th March 2018, the governing bodies of Plattsburgh held a public hearing to assess the situation and yielded the outcome through the following message to the community;
It is the purpose of this Local Law to facilitate the adoption of land use and zoning and/or municipal lighting department regulations to protect and enhance the City’s natural, historic, cultural and electrical resources.
Bitcoin Mining Ban on all residents
The 18-month ban on the 20,000 residents in the town of Plattsburgh will refrain them from using any technique or application on cryptocurrency mining for commercial purposes from here onwards. The law is strict with a penalty of up to 1,000 USD per day for the violation of these terms on the Bitcoin mining ban.
The process of digital currency mining is how individuals or groups receive new Bitcoins as payment for running complex mathematical equations. These equations which help identify and confirm valid transactions on the blockchain need high-end machines with powerful calculating capabilities. Environmentalists estimate that Bitcoin miners utilize more electricity than electric cars.
St. Lawrence River is the source providing the residents of Plattsburgh low-cost electricity. As stated in a local newspaper, in the months of December and January the consumption of electricity in the town exceeded its allotted amount of hydropower. According to the reports, there have been several complaints in getting charged over 300 USD on their electricity bills.
The city council of Plattsburgh notified that they would require more time in taking into consideration in bringing zoning laws and lighting regulations, “before commercial cryptocurrency mining operations results in irreversible change to the character and direction of the city.”