For the first time, a US city has banned cryptocurrency mining after large-scale operations used up all its power

The city of Plattsburgh, New York announced on Thursday that it is temporarily banning the commercial mining of cryptocurrency for 18 months.

The official reasoning for the moratorium is to “protect and enhance the City’s natural, historic, cultural and electrical resources.”

Plattsburgh residents have seen skyrocketing electrical bills — as much as $100 to $200 increases — as a result of commercial cryptomining operations that mine for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, according to Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read, who spoke with Motherboard. The city is taking action to protect its citizens from those rising electrical bills that the city of Plattsburgh says is caused by cryptomining operations.

It turns out that commercial cryptocurrency mining operations used up so much electricity that the city of Plattsburgh exceeded its allotted monthly budget of electricity. One single cryptocurrency mining operation called Coinmint used up around 10% of the city’s allotted power supply alone in January and February, according to Motherboard.

When its electrical budget was exceeded in January, the city had to buy electricity from the open market at a higher cost, which was distributed among its residents.

Mining for cryptocurrency involves powerful computer components that use a large amount of electricity in order to solve complex computational problems. The problems being solved are used to verify the transfer of cryptocurrencies independently of a central bank. Those components are usually dedicated cryptocurrency-mining components called “ASIC” cards. Some operations use graphics cards that are normally used to run high-resolution PC games…

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