According to a report by a local media outlet, Arkansas County in the United States is currently embroiled in a contentious battle with Jones Digital, the proprietor of a newly established cryptocurrency mining operation near the city of DeWitt.
The conflict has intensified as a federal court lawsuit looms. The legal action is driven by local concerns over noise, energy usage and potential environmental damage.
Local backlash leads to legal confrontation
The conflict ignited when Jones Digital announced its plan to set up a cryptocurrency mine just outside DeWitt in July.
The proposal for a new crypto-mining facility has sparked significant local opposition. Residents are concerned about the potential environmental and infrastructural impacts, such as on the power grid, water usage and the region's agricultural economy.
Business owners and residents argue that crypto mining companies, unlike other local businesses, benefit from tax exemptions and less stringent regulations. This tension has led to a petition against crypto mines.
The local government responded by tightening a noise ordinance specifically targeting crypto mines in October. In response to this decision, Jones Digital then escalated its battle with Arkansas County on Nov. 1 by launching a legal challenge.
The situation involving Jones Digital and Arkansas County is part of a broader pattern across the United States, where local communities and states grapple with the challenges posed by cryptocurrency mining operations. In New York, for example, the crypto mining facility Greenidge Generation became a focal point in state and national debates over the environmental impact of mining firms. This led to New York passing legislation specifically targeting companies like Greenidge.
On the West Coast, in states like Oregon and Washington, legislative efforts to regulate carbon emissions related to crypto mining and data centers have seen diverging paths. Washington successfully passed a bill mandating rural utility districts to curb emissions from their electricity purchases. However, a similar bill in Oregon faced opposition and ultimately failed.