By Pat Bradley
Northern New York is a prime location for Bitcoin miners and block chain technology because of its low electric rates. But a number of communities have imposed moratoriums on new cryptocurrency operations because their use of electricity is so intensive. With such a potential lucrative and emerging technology facing challenges, the Adirondack North Country Association is sponsoring a summit at SUNY Plattsburgh today to explore the new industry’s impacts and potential.
In March the city of Plattsburgh made national and international headlines when it imposed an 18-month moratorium on new cryptocurrency mining operations in the city. Existing operations had used so much power that the city exceeded its low-cost power quota and local electric rates rose.
Several other communities in the region subsequently imposed moratoriums on data mining including Lake Placid, the Town of North Elba, Rouses Point, and Massena. Tupper Lake is considering a moratorium.
The Adirondack North Country Association is a Saranac Lake-based nonprofit that works to enhance the region’s economy. It is hosting a Cryptocurrency Summit Tuesday at SUNY Plattsburgh. ANCA Regional Advocacy Coordinator Jacob Vennie-Volrath says the discussion will focus on energy use vs. available resources. “When cryptocurrency mining comes into a community particularly communities with low cost power, which is a number of the communities in our region, it has the potential of raising rates for consumers, for commercial aspects, etc. So the main concern is the amount of energy being used by some of these cryptocurrency miners.”
Read or listen to the full story at WAMC Northeast Public Radio.