The city of Ephrata, in Grant County, Washington, has issued a 12-month moratorium, banning new Bitcoin mining operations from entering the market.
Bitcoin Mining Opposition
It has been a very interesting year for Bitcoin mining companies. Finding appropriate locations to set up shop is becoming a bit problematic. Especially in the US, municipalities are not too pleased to see these companies put a strain on local power grids. This concept causes a fair bit of friction, as has become apparent in Ephrata, Washington.
Ephrata’s city council voted to temporarily ban cryptocurrency mining firms from setting up shop there. For the next 12 months, no additional operations will be allowed. Taking this one-year break seems to make sense to local officials given the concerns that have arisen over how to ensure the provision of sufficient power to this region.
Additional concerns remain present as well. Ephrata was once a relatively quiet and peaceful part of Washington. Due to Bitcoin mining operations, the noise levels have risen significantly. As mining firms operate around the clock, the noise is getting on a lot of people’s nerves. Especially during the summer, things are anything but pleasant for local residents.
What Happens After the Ban?
This recent decision does not affect companies mining Bitcoin prior to the moratorium. All existing service providers will remain in operation without any issues. Thes ban is merely a stop-gap measure while the city continues to evaluate the risks versus benefits of cryptocurrency mining.
According to dissenting city council member Matt Moore, such a decision is not something local official can decide – especially because everything the factors that determine the viability of Bitcoin mining are beyond the city’s control. Despite Moore’s opposition, the vote was 6-to-1 in favor of imposing the year-long ban. It seems unlikely the decision can be overturned.
Economics will be the deciding factor. […] If this is an economical business, and this is one of the ideal places to situate it, I don’t want to surrender any economic opportunity big or small.
This is another small setback for the Bitcoin mining industry. This opposition to a lucrative business model can become problematic over time. It is not the first time Grant County – where Ephrata is located – sees such decisions. Several local cities temporarily ban cryptocurrency developments and impose higher electricity rates. Not a favorable situation for local and aspiring companies in the Bitcoin industry.
Do you think more cities will impose similar moratoriums on cryptocurrency mining? Let us know in the comments below.
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