NY City Weighs 18-Month "Moratorium" On Bitcoin-Mining

In upstate-New York, the City of Plattsburgh is moving toward installing a moratorium on commercial cryptocurrency mining operations, amid concerns from the council that it could drain the city's electricity supplies.

The WaterTown Daily Times reports that the problem is that mining for cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, absorbs a tremendous amount of energy in generating the virtual currency. Municipal Lighting Department Manager Bill Treacy says there are two mining farms in the city that they know of - one in the former Imperial Mill and one in Skyway Plaza, and there may be some smaller private mining operations in households in the city, he said.

The mining farms in the City of Plattsburgh have cropped up over the past year, officials say; and at times they have used up to 11.2 megawatts of power per month, which can be about 10 percent of the city’s power supply — more than is consumed by Georgia-Pacific, one of the city’s largest users.

This is a problem because, as part of the Municipal Electric Utility Association since the 1950s, the city is allotted a certain amount of inexpensive hydropower generated on the St. Lawrence River.

The cheap power has allowed the city to maintain attractive electric rates for households and businesses for more than half a century.

At one time, the city was touted as having some of the lowest rates in the nation.

But when usage is high, the system is in jeopardy of going over its allotment of inexpensive hydropower.

When that happens, the city must buy much more-expensive power on the open market to supplement its supply, which drives up the cost for consumers, Treacy said.

The hydropower costs 4.92 cents per megawatt hour, compared with 37 cents for alternative power. And that means 'average' Plattsburghians are facing notably higher costs due to the mining operations.

When the city has to purchase more power, its customers see a spike in their monthly bills.

Treacy said the average home will probably see an increase of $30 to $40 or more in their monthly bill.

“People are surprised when their bills are so high because they say that they turn the lights off when it is cold to save energy, but lights don’t really use much power,” he said.

“It’s the electric heat that is costly.”

Read said the moratorium is proposed not only to give the city time to explore the cost impact, but for health and safety factors.

As the bill (Local Law P-3 of 2018) shows...

Pursuant to the authority and provisions of Section 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York and the statutory powers vested in the Common Council of the City of Plattsburgh to regulate and control land use and to protect the health, safety and welfare of its residents, the Common Council of the City of Plattsburgh hereby declares an eighteen (18) month moratorium, on all applications or proceedings for applications, for the issuance of approvals or permits for the commercial cryptocurrency mining operations in the City of Plattsburgh. This moratorium will allow time for the zoning code and municipal lighting department regulations to be amended to regulate this potential use.


It is the purpose of this Local Law to allow the City of Plattsburgh the opportunity to consider zoning and land use laws and municipal lighting department regulations before commercial cryptocurrency mining operations results in irreversible change to the character and direction of the City.

Further, it is the purpose of this Local Law to allow the City of Plattsburgh time to address through planning and legislation, the promotion of the protection, order, conduct, safety health and well-being of the residents of the City which are presented as heightened risks associated with commercial cryptocurrency mining operations.

It is the purpose of this Local Law to facilitate the adoption of land use and zoning and/or municipal lighting department regulations to protect and enhance the City’s natural, historic, cultural and electrical resources.

As WCAX reports, one of the mining operators, David Bowman of the Plattsburgh BTC, suggested a solution:

"You know you need to like protect people in the town from being adversely affected by increased electricity rates but I think there are ways to do that like possibly charging the miners more,"

"I think it's not a great idea to just completely ban the whole thing-- it's just too new."

But, don't forget, even Bill Gates is convinced that cryptocurrencies have "directly killed people."


bitzager Buckaroo Banzai Tue, 03/06/2018 - 14:25 Permalink

It's barely profitable to mine BTC now, it doesn't make any sense..Might as well just deposit $10k in the bank and withdraw $2 per day consider that as good as mining.. Just buy and hold, if you have to, mine? Noway, not with current difficulty anyways.. Anybody with 2nd grade can figure out that too many variables are in mining to ever ROI. I guess GREED taking over common sense..

In reply to by Buckaroo Banzai

Disgruntled Goat BaBaBouy Tue, 03/06/2018 - 13:15 Permalink

What a load of snot. The fact is that NY is just one massive welfare state, with NYC at its apex. No municipal government will tolerate even the slightest hint that they may lose potential tax revenue..... revenue that is needed to fund welfare programs for shit tons of low IQ minorities and no-skill, illiterate immigrants pouring into NY to procreate and seek "opportunity" ..... thats "opportunity" funded by you, WHITE MIDDLE CLASS TAX DONKEYS, so bend over again and lube up .... or decide to STOP PARTICIPATING

In reply to by BaBaBouy

withglee ZENDOG Tue, 03/06/2018 - 12:27 Permalink

Reverse sliding scale. In most businesses, the higher volume a customer does with the business, the lower the cost the vendor has in supplying services to that business. A sliding pricing scale can benefit both vendor and customer.

Here we have the reverse. The higher the volume, the greater the cost. So put in a reverse sliding scale. And then watch Georgia-Pacific go burp.

In reply to by ZENDOG

Darkman17 Tue, 03/06/2018 - 12:19 Permalink

I tell all my libby friends that they are responsible for global warming because of their bitcoin usage. 

Also this socialist city is clearly not charging enough for power.

And also ZH, if you are going to put "NY City" in the title, realize that people are going to think you mean New York City, not "a City in NY State" and they are going to think you are setting this as click bait which will annoy your readers. 

withglee Darkman17 Tue, 03/06/2018 - 12:32 Permalink

" I tell all my libby friends that they are responsible for global warming because of their bitcoin usage.  "

Anyone who is "using" Bitcoin is a fool. The ridiculous deflation of Bitcoin makes it unusable in trade ... except for elicit trade which generates higher profit (and risk aversion to getting caught) than the deflation of the Bitcoin medium.

Everyone else is producing, selling enough to pay their electric bill, and holding the rest. People buying are holding.

There is exactly zero use of Bitcoin as money when you know the true definition of real money.


In reply to by Darkman17

HungryPorkChop Rhetorical Tue, 03/06/2018 - 16:07 Permalink

Those which hate crypto's hate anyone pointin' out those tiny overlooked facts.  :-) Cash rules the illegal drug market and not Bitcoin, XMR, etc.  :-)  Somehow I don't see a bunch of junkies dealing drugs setting up back alley or street corner Bitcoin deals!  LOL  Anyway Bitcoin transactions can take hours or even days.  Doubt most junkies are that tolerant or patient. 

In reply to by Rhetorical

pliny the longer Tue, 03/06/2018 - 12:24 Permalink

is anybody else starting to hate how every single day they see something that they've never thought about before?  its unsettling.  i did not anticipate hookers branding themselves with QR codes, and now i must admit i did not foresee municipalities blaming bitcoin mining for a rate increase.  


its almost daily now i'm 'seeing things for the first time' 





wmbz Tue, 03/06/2018 - 12:31 Permalink

A fellow I know has 4 crypto miners running in his garage . It's nice and warm in there, his bill is around $800.00 per month.

It is wintertime now, so it's going to be interesting to see what it costs him during the summer, here in the sweltering south.

thebigunit Tue, 03/06/2018 - 12:34 Permalink

Well DUH!

How long is it going to take for someone to figure out the logic of building a bitcoin mining ASIC into a solar panel.

Cover Arizona and New Mexico with solar panels and we can  abolish taxes and retire the national debt.