A small town in New York state called Massena has recently been the target of cryptomining company Coinmint.
Massena is a town of about 10,000 people along the St. Lawrence River and it provides its residents with some of the most affordable electricity in the United States based on hydroelectric power.
In January, Coinmint illegally moved into a vacant building in an industrial park and began setting up shop with a large number of mining computers.
By the time the mayor, Tim Currier, had learned of what was going on, it was already to late with the average customers increase in energy bills jumping over $10 over the course of just two months with other customers bills jumping over $200.
Between the months of January and February the company had used up roughly 10 percent of the city’s total power budget of 104 megawatts per month.
To combat this a proposal calls for cryptocurrency mining to be banned in residential units, but not commercially zoned spaces of the area. The city council will be voting on what other steps to take regarding this matter on Tuesday which could include a complete ban on the use of cargo containers, railroad cars, and semi-truck trailers to “help aesthetically” keep the locations “local”.
In light of this, and other happenings across New York State, on March 15, the New York Public Service Commission make a ruling:
upstate municipal power authorities could charge higher electricity rates to cryptocurrency companies that require huge amounts of electricity to conduct business.
Currier set up a meeting with Massena’s municipally owned electric department, the county and city’s economic development arms, New York Power Authority officials, and the town and village government.
In a statement he suggests using the movement as a way to build up the economics of the area.
We want to make sure we can use it to create jobs and to spur growth here, and we want to make sure it’s not being used in a manner that doesn’t do that
So while coinmnt was in fact squatting and harvesting electricity from a vacant building which was technically illegal, Currier wasn’t ready to take them to court stating:
We’re not just trying to shut business down
After a negotiation an agreement to lease Coinmint the space to operate 16,000 Blockchain computers was come to.
They will operate 24/7 and be processing Bitcoin, Dash, and Ethereum cryptocurrency transactions on servers spread across six buildings.
On January 30, Coinmint asked for approval by the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees and New York State Canal Corporation Board of Directors to receive 15000 kilowatts of the 490 megawatts of power given to Franklin, Jefferson, and St. Lawrence counties of New York for the next seven years.
In exchange they promise to invest a minimum of $165 million and bring at least 150 jobs to the local areas.