Art Creek Takes Bitcoin Mining Forward With Port Of Walla Walla Blockchain Proposal
Bitcoin Mining Takes Forward Strides With Port Of Walla Walla
Port of Walla Walla has entered into a lease agreement with Ant Creek LLC, the company behind the blockchain proposal in Western Walla Walla County. The agreement is part of a lease and purchase option with the Port. Presumably at the end of the lease Dec. 31, Ant Creek will determine whether to purchase the land.
The short-term lease on 10 acres between the Dodd Road Industrial Park and Wallula Gap Business Park began July 2 and runs through the end of the year. It is a major leap in development of a possible cryptocurrency mining operation and indicates Ant Creek was not discouraged by Port commissioners’ decision three months ago to approve a reduction in scale from the company’s original proposal.
The lease value on the Port property, with base rent and a 12.84 percent state leasehold tax, would be $4,701.67 per month. If the purchase option is exercised, the land would be sold for $15,000 per acre, for a total of $150,000. The lease value on the Port property, with base rent and a 12.84 percent state leasehold tax, would be $4,701.67 per month. If the purchase option is exercised, the land would be sold for $15,000 per acre, for a total of $150,000. Lease payments, minus the leasehold tax, would be applied to the purchase.
Meanwhile, Ant Creek would pay for a $2.5 million roadway that would provide access not only to the property now but also to other surrounding properties. There is currently no access.
“We just want to be proactive about this,” said board Chairman Norm Passmore. “There’s a lot of misinformation about this, and we want to have a community conversation of what it is and what we should be aware of for future planning.”
Passmore said commissioners have asked county Planning Director Megan Bailey and Columbia REA, the member-owned electric cooperative, to present information, and also want to hear from citizens about what direction the county should take.
Cryptocurrency-mining operations have also become a subject of public debate in other parts of the state, including the city of Wenatchee and Chelan County. Those communities have been deluged with requests for blockchain-style mining operations that could have a massive impact on power use and infrastructure for the fluctuating value of bitcoin.