[4/5/18] Chelan County PUD Hopes To Slow Cryptocurrency Mining With Moratorium

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It has been around too long to be a fad.

Bitcoin, or cryptocurrency mining has grown at such a rate that city and county governments are hoping to slow the influx of digital currency start ups in order to give all entities some breathing room.

The reason that so many start ups are flocking to the region, is that cryptocurrency mining requires power- a lot of power. And, with the cheapest power rates in the country, bitcoin miners are setting up camp in Chelan and Douglas County, somewhat reminiscent of the Gold Rush of 1849.

Chelan County PUD Commissioner, Gary Arseneault, says the cryptocurrency miners fall into one of two camps…

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But, not all are following the rules…

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John Stoll, Customer Utility Managing Director for the PUD, says it’s a matter of customer safety…

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Stoll says, if properly designed and operated, the bitcoin currency miners can safely operate, but many are choosing to fly under the radar, renting homes or storage units and converting them to mining centers.

At their April 16 board meeting, Chelan PUD Commissioners will consider implementing additional fees for unauthorized operations.

Those fees could be up to $5,000 in residential areas and $7-$10,000 in commercial areas.

A public hearing on whether to continue the moratorium will be held on May 14.