Near the Canadian border and located in New York is a St. Lawrence county town called Massena, which appears to be having problems with bitcoin miners. The recent reports indicate that new regulations are being drafted for bitcoin mining operations by the Massena town supervisor. Having a population of around 13,000, the town of Massena has managed to attract the attention of Bitcoin miners. The officials of the New York town have taken an issue with the bitcoin miners and a 90-day moratorium has been planned by the authorities. This will be imposed on any new bitcoin miners planning to tap into the energy resources of the town.
According to Steve O’Shaughnessy, the Massena Town Supervisor, the town does not want its roadsides to be filled with shipping containers that are typically used for housing mining rigs. O’Shaughnessy said that they didn’t want these trailers littering their roadsides for the purpose of pumping out bitcoin. He stated that they wanted to ensure that if the miners were to come to the town, they would work in a nice, presentable building. The report by Reuters noted that Massena had recently seen a surge in the number of miners setting up shop.
Massena Electric, the electrical company of the town is currently in the middle of negotiations with three potential operations. Reliability and low-cost electricity are the two components that are key for the developers and these are quite readily available in Massena, as per the superintendent of Massena Electric, Andrew McMahon. As per reports, there are a number of mobile bitcoin mining units along Route 42 in Massena that are housed in shipping containers near Fort Covington. Massena Electric said that their deals with the bitcoin miners would come after current customers and that the increased sales could even benefit current customers.
Petawatt Group, the crypto mining operation, is based in Massena, as the firm bought land of about 140 acres around two years ago. Jason Rappaport, the co-founder of the company, said that the bitcoin mining operations can potentially benefit Massena locals by bringing in jobs. He said that they weren’t like a new operation that was trying to come in from somewhere else in order to find cheap power and not become part of the community. It seems that bitcoin mining and New York go hand-in-hand because the state has access to abundant cheap hydropower.
However, officials and residents from a couple of New York communities have taken issue with mining operations in a similar way. For instance, bitcoin mining was blamed for heating up the water in Seneca Lake by residents who live near it. It was noted that the lake had gotten so warm that it felt similar to a hot tub. A bill was also introduced by Kevin Parker, a Democrat senator, which aims to impose a moratorium on any bitcoin mining in New York for about three years. The bill was a review on May 3rd by the Committee on Environmental Conservation. According to the bill, the crypto miners should be responsible for the environmental impacts on the state.