TUPPER LAKE ? At Wednesday night?s village board meeting, the superintendent of the Municipal Electric Department, Marc Staves, talked about the growth of the cryptocurrency industry and how Tupper Lake should prepare for possible ?mines? in the village.
As other municipalities ban the practice, Staves said it is better to be proactive than reactive, suggesting a study into a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining.
Bitcoin, the most popular form of the online currency, is earned by designating computer processing power to solving highly complicated math equations. When these equations are solved, each contributor earns a portion of a Bitcoin, which can be spent online or in some physical stores.
As the industry has taken off in popularity, individuals and groups are setting up ?mines,? or large server farms, solely dedicated to earning bitcoins. Because Tupper Lake has some of the cheapest electricity in the nation, it may be a prime location for hopefuls to set up shop looking to strike it rich on the web.
These mines use a tremendous amount of electricity, running around the clock. This led Plattsburgh to become the first U.S. city to ban cryptocurrency mining, after one operation used around 10 percent of the city?s total power allotment in January and February.
While national eyes are on Plattsburgh residents paying about 4.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to the 10 cent national average, Tupper Lake pays around .04123 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Board members said cryptocurrency mining would not be a problem if it provided jobs for the village, adding that New York Power Authority offers manufacturing benefits for companies that need lots of electricity and employ community members.
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