Bitcoin Mining Remains Hot-Button Issue in Montana

News
Wed, 01/20/2021 - 18:00
article image
Alex Dovbnya
The second-largest country in Montana wants to make its Bitcoin mining regulations permanent
Bitcoin Mining Remains Hot-Button Issue in Montana
Cover image via stock.adobe.com
Read U.TODAY on
Google News
Contents

Missoula County, the second-largest county in the U.S. state of Montana, will hold several hearings to seek public comment on renewing local zoning enforcement for Bitcoin mining operators, a local media outlet reports.

The first session was conducted earlier this week by the Missoula County Planning Board to review a proposal to make new zoning rules permanent.

Energy-hungry and noisy rigs   

The country rushed to introduce regulations for its Bitcoin mining sector back in April 2019 that limit possible locations for crypto mining to industrial districts.        

It also required miners to fund green power sources in the state in order to offset their excessive energy consumption.

Back then, Josh Slotnick, one of the commissioners, estimated that Bitcoin mining was using as much electricity a third of all households:

“We looked at the potential for new bitcoin mining and saw that we’re never going to meet these goals if mining happens in the way it’s been happening.”

Moreover, the fans of mining rigs were the source of noise, which rubbed many local residents the wrong way.   

Canadian company Hyperblock — which operated a 20-megawatt datacenter in Missoula — wanted to challenge the zoning rules before eventually deciding to cease operations in the country last May.

Related
China Coin No More: Bitcoin Mining Shifting to Sweden and Norway

Bitcoin miners might not come back  

With Bitcoin soaring to new highs, a new wave of miners is likely to come to Missoula because of its cheap hydroelectric power.

Its temporary zoning regulations are set to expire this April. If they are made public, this will likely put a lid on its local mining industry since miners will go to more welcoming counties.

As reported by U.Today, Central Washington and its Columbia River Basin dams are not as attractive for miners as in 2017 because of higher electricity rates. 

article image
About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at alex.dovbnya@u.today.