Montana County Requires Bitcoin Miners to Use Renewable Energy Sources for Mining Cryptos
The county of Missoula, located in the state of Montana, decided to adopt new mining regulations for cryptocurrencies. According to the local news outlet the Missoulian, miners of virtual currencies will have to use renewable energies to power their mining rigs.
Renewable Energy for Mining Cryptos
Cryptocurrency activities are very expensive and energy consuming. The energy required to power ASIC devices and other mining rigs is very high, which has caused some issues to the communities close to mining farms.
This is one of the reasons why the Missoula County Board of Commissioners decided to impose new rules for local crypto mining operations. The main reason behind this regulation is “to protect” public health, safety, “morals,” and also the welfare of the residents of Missoula.
The law focuses on the effects that cryptocurrency mining has on global warming and also on electronic waste. It is worth mentioning that miners in the county will also have to establish their operations in industrial districts after they have been approved to operate.
It is worth mentioning that the firms operating with virtual currencies will have to provide certification that electronic waste that is generated will have to be handled by a company licensed by the Department of Environmental Quality. These firms and companies that want to mine virtual currencies will also need to use renewable energy.
Those mining activities that are not compliant now and that are operating will be allowed to continue operating but they will not be authorized for expanding their plants unless they become compliant with the new regulations. The new rules came into effect on April 4 and they will last until April 3.
One of the companies that is currently operating in the county is known as Hyperblock. The firm uses one-third of the electricity of all homes in the county. At the same time, the company aims to triple its power usage in the near future.
County commissioner Dave Strohmaier commented about it:
“Near as I can tell cryptocurrency is using exponentially more energy; it’s a grotesque amount of energy and we’ve got to take steps to address it. […] We’ve got to utilize new renewables if we’re going to address climate change.”
According to the manager of Hyperblock, Dan Stivers, they have always used renewable energy instead of purchasing coal-based energy. In addition to it, Stivers explains that they work with a licensed recycler in order to deal with electronic waste.
As mentioned before, mining operations consume large amounts of energy. Miners try to remain profitable by using the cheapest sources of electricity, which sometimes come from coal and not renewable energies. Sometimes, crypto mining firms have also been using electricity that was previously used by towns, cities or even industrial parks, and this is creating clashes with local authorities.