New York has been a hub of cryptocurrency mining since its inception. Now, it’s one the few states where miners can get energy for free and still make money — so much so that many are moving from China to New York City. But why?
Bitcoin mining can be a lucrative business, but it has also brought new economic opportunities to some of the country’s shabbiest towns. Read more in detail here: what is mining bitcoin mean.
According to The New York Times, a Bitcoin mining business will open northeast of Niagara Falls this month on the site of the defunct coal-fired Somerset Generating Station.
New York State’s fading blue-collar communities become an increasingly attractive place for Bitcoin mining because to ample renewable energy and ‘plug and play’ infrastructure.
However, the increased mining activity in the region has raised worries about the quantity of power and pollutants generated.
The state of New York’s last operational coal plant
Terawulf, a Bitcoin mining business that bills itself as “a pioneer in green-energy crypto mining,” is expected to establish a $550 million mining facility in Somerset shortly.
A projected 150-megawatt data center in a decommissioned coal factory on Lake Cayuga in the Finger Lakes is also part of Terawulf’s proposal.
The new facility will utilize hydroelectric power from the falls, which is difficult to transfer to other regions owing to grid congestion, according to Terawulf CEO Paul Prager.
While local mining businesses say that they are restoring the economy by resurrecting old and abandoned power plants and manufacturing, environmentalists are skeptical, claiming that green-energy crypto mining might leave other places reliant on fossil fuel power.
Is it possible to get enough permissions from the local government?
While Terawulf prepares to begin operations on the site of the state’s last operational coal plant, US Senator Elizabeth Warren is questioning another Bitcoin miner in New York.
Warren recently singled out a former coal plant in the Finger Lakes area that was transformed into the Greenidge Generation natural gas-burning facility that fuels Bitcoin mining in a letter to the company’s CEO Jeff Kirt, asking for details on the plant’s emissions.
According to Greenidge President Dale Irwin, the 106-megawatt facility “is building a new economic engine delivering a piece of the world’s digital future to upstate New York.”
Greenidge is in the process of renewing its air pollution licenses, and according to Irwin, the plant’s emissions have grown since 2019, but remain below state-permitted limits.
Seneca Lake Guardian, a local environmental organization, blasted state authorities for not demanding an environmental evaluation before awarding licenses to Greenidge, which bills itself as the “first and only carbon neutral, vertically integrated power generating and Bitcoin miner of scale” in the US.
“It can’t be a town-by-town struggle,” Seneca Lake Guardian vice president Yvonne Taylor said, adding that clearances should be given at a higher level, as opposed to Bitcoin miners simply needing basic construction or planning permits from local governments.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are Bitcoin miners actually solving?
A: Bitcoin miners are solving cryptographic puzzles in order to get paid for their work when a block is found. This process creates new bitcoins and validates transactions on the blockchain ledger.
Why do Bitcoin miners have to solve problems?
What does GPU mining mean?
A: It means a graphics processing unit. This is what your computer uses to make the images you see on screen.
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