Bitcoin has its detractors. Most detractors simply do not buy into the concept of digital cryptocurrency. These naysayers aren’t alone. A new group of detractors recently emerged in the state of Washington. These people aren’t concerned with the global implications of digital currency. They simply want Bitcoin miners to stop using so much electricity.
Bitcoin miners consistently remain active in the rural Washington counties of Chelan, Douglas, and Grant. Cryptocurrency miners prefer the region thanks to the availability of hydropower.
Why the interest in hydropower? Cryptocurrency mining requires a great deal of energy to support operations. Electricity, however, comes with a cost. Thanks to Washington state’s hydropower setup, mining cryptocurrency can be done at a reduced rate. Cryptocurrency, while strangely high-tech to some, remains a business endeavor. A reduced operational cost impacts profit potential. So, the move to a location with cheap power makes sense.
Residents of these counties aren’t too thrilled with all the Bitcoin mining occurring though. Electricity isn’t unlimited in terms of reserves. Hydropower can only produce so much electricity. Consistent Bitcoin mining drains available electricity. This creates the potential for blackouts. Residents worry about the fallout from unexpected rolling blackouts. And there’s another issue to contend with. Increased electricity costs also weigh on the minds of residents. Scarcity often leads to a price increase. Less available electricity sets a path for higher electricity rates.
Some may wonder why this process requires so much energy. Basically, Bitcoin entrepreneurs must run an incredible number of computer calculations in order to effectively mine Bitcoin. That requires significant amounts of electricity. Electricity use is compounded by various physical Bitcoin mining sites located in rural Washington. The sites do a lot of work since the collective Bitcoin mining operations serve clients all over the world.
Residents of the counties must deal with the unfortunate side effects of Bitcoin enterprises’ effect on power usage. Since these are legal businesses, little can be done about their presence. Local governments could pass laws to address the problem. Would the laws truly be effective?
The local authorities in Chelan County won’t be allowing any new mining companies to open up shop for a three-month period. In general, there’s really no answer to how the local government and residents can deal with the Bitcoin operations.