City in New York state becomes first to ban cryptocurrency mining

Formerly miner-friendly Plattsburgh pulls the plug on new crypto-gathering operations.

Taking a step further than its state commission, which has decided to levy higher power fees on cryptocurrency mining operations, the north-New York State city of Plattsburgh has become the first place in the US to ban the practice outright. Technically, its city council has voted to impose a 18 month moratorium on new crypto-mining operations in the town, while they work our a policy for dealing with the activity in the future.

Plattsburgh has been especially popular for mining operations due to its unusually cheap electricity. According to a Motherboard report, being situated close to Lake Champlain and its hydroelectric dam means business-rate power costs in the area are just 1/5th of the US national consumer average of 10c per kilowatt-hour.

However, the rise in demand caused from an influx such set-ups has caused the city to exceed its allotted quote of cheap power, forcing it to buy-in power on the open market and putting a significant premium on bills for everyone in the city. According to the report, 1/10th of the city’s 104 megawatts quote for last month was scooped up by just one company, a Puerto Rico-based company called Coinmint.

The decision was thus taken to put a hold on new mining start-ups until a policy can be developed that means Plattsburg won’t lose its cheap power forever.