A US city just banned crypto mining for the first time

Plattsburgh — a city of 19,780 wayyyyy upstate in New York — has become the first US city to temporarily ban cryptocurrency mining. Enacted last Thursday, the ban will place an 18-month moratorium on all new crypto mining operations in an effort to cut down on the astronomical energy usage the practice requires. Plattsburgh brought […]


March 19, 2018

Plattsburgh — a city of 19,780 wayyyyy upstate in New York — has become the first US city to temporarily ban cryptocurrency mining.

Enacted last Thursday, the ban will place an 18-month moratorium on all new crypto mining operations in an effort to cut down on the astronomical energy usage the practice requires.

Plattsburgh brought this upon themselves

With close proximity to a hydroelectric dam, Plattsburgh boasts some of the cheapest energy in the United States: about 4.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to the 10-cent national average.

Last year, Plattsburgh sweetened the deal even more by offering a reduced rate of 2 cents per kilowatt-hour to “industrial operators” — and the bitcoin miners flooded into town.

The problem: These operations used far beyond the city’s energy allotment (104 megawatt-hours of electricity per month), resulting in extra costs to all residents’ energy bills.

Energy suckers

The crypto mining process enlists servers that are constantly running equations. Large-scale operations consume incredible amounts of energy: It’s estimated that the amount of wattage required to generate one coin could power the average American household for 2 years.

Plattsburgh’s ban won’t apply to current operations but will prevent new ones from joining the party, giving the city time to figure out its next move.

Daily briefings, straight to your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

Join over 1 million people who read The Hustle

Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.