The town of Brasher, in upstate New York, has joined the growing list of communities imposing moratoriums on new cryptocurrency mining operations. The town board recently agreed to extend the moratorium for one year, until October 31, 2024. The decision was made to allow time for the development of comprehensive regulations governing cryptocurrency mining operations in the area.
Town Supervisor Mark A. Peets expressed his hope that the extension would provide the board with more information on the subject in the coming year. He emphasized the need for regulations to address concerns such as decommissioning and energy consumption associated with cryptocurrency mining.
Currently, Brasher has no existing regulations governing cryptocurrency mining operations. The town defines such operations as digital currencies that are decentralized and not managed by a central bank. The moratorium applies to any equipment that requires a high-density load service or any server farm consisting of three or more interconnected computers used for cryptocurrency mining or associated data processing.
While no current operations are grandfathered in, Peets mentioned that one company had shown initial interest in setting up a mining operation in the town. However, the lack of three-phase power at the proposed site would have posed significant challenges for the company. Peets suggested that companies looking to establish mining operations in Brasher would likely seek areas within the Massena Electric Department service area, where electricity rates are cheaper.
The extension of the moratorium reflects the town’s desire to protect the public interest and welfare of its residents. The absence of regulations leaves the town vulnerable to potential negative impacts if a company were to abruptly abandon a mining operation, leaving behind servers with no way to dispose of them. Peets emphasized the importance of having provisions in place to minimize such risks and ensure proper monitoring and enforcement of mining operations.
During the moratorium extension, the town board aims to develop comprehensive regulations that strike a balance between facilitating the growth of cryptocurrency mining and safeguarding the interests of the community. The coming year will provide them with an opportunity to gather more information, learn from the experiences of other communities, and establish effective guidelines for cryptocurrency mining in Brasher.
As cryptocurrency mining continues to gain popularity and attract attention, communities around the world are grappling with how to regulate this industry. The town of Brasher’s decision to extend their moratorium highlights the importance of thoughtful and well-informed decision-making in order to protect the interests of all stakeholders involved.