The Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) in Washington state is heightening its security over fears of angry Bitcoin mining operators who are being shut down.
As some countries crack down on Bitcoin mining, operators have taken to looking for greener pastures. The chief concern is paying as cheaply as possible for electricity as the energy demands of mining are high. Some locales are finding themselves overwhelmed by the increased demand and are actually shutting down some operations, which is making the affected miners really angry.
Case in point is the Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) located in Washington state. The PUD found that their system was being heavily strained by Bitcoin mining operations, so commissioners declared a moratorium on such activity back in March.
Then in April, commissioners authorized the staff of the PUD to take action in several ways against miners. First, they have the authority to immediately disconnect an account from the system. Second, they can fine those found violating the moratorium up to $6,150 (for in-home operations) or $11,400 (for commercial operations). Thirdly, violators could eventually be charged with power theft. (However, this last action is still being worked on as it could be legally problematic.) It should be noted that there is an amnesty currently in effect if a miner shuts down and reports his operation to the PUD.
When the Chelan County PUD put the moratorium in place, the county had 22 approved high-density load customers (who used about 13.5 megawatts in total). The PUD also had applications from 19 more Bitcoin mining operators, which would have required about 16.3 megawatts in total. Besides those accounts, the public utility district found 28 unauthorized mining operations, of which 19 have been shut down. However, the district is finding that three more unauthorized operations are popping up each week…