Easily clip, save and share what you find with family and bitcoin mining group buy tires. Easily download and save what you find. A building that once served as a lumber mill in Montana now houses a new type of industrialist, of a different type of ‘rush’: the cryptocurrency miner. Reminiscent of the gold rush, Bitcoin’s rapid rise has brought dozens of cryptocurrency ‘mining’ companies to the rural, mountainous West, where cheaper electricity and large open spaces make for the perfect home for their craft.
A Buzzfeed piece explores the exponential rise of the business in the West, particularly in Bonner, Montana, a town of 1,633 where one of North America’s largest Bitcoin mines has settled. An anonymous cryptocurrency miner explained to Buzzfeed that only four things are needed to produce bitcoin profitably: ‘a stable government, cheap power, good internet, and space’. All things the rural West can provide. An anonymous cryptocurrency miner explained to Buzzfeed that only four things are needed to produce bitcoin profitably: ‘a stable government, cheap power, good internet, and space. The rural West has all four requirements, and the Bitcoin industry is taking full advantage of it, setting shop in states like Nevada, Wyominng and Washington.
Cheap prices and lots of space attract the 21st Century miners, who are bringing a new currency to a region famous for its gold, in what residents call ‘the roar’. This Bitcoin boom in the West has been solidified this year. An unknown company bought 7,000 acres at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center in Nevada, next to Tesla’s Gigafactory. 251 million over three years in Butte, Montana, where they will build a campus of mining data centers. Then in December, a company called Cryptowatt bought an empty elementary school in Anaconda, Montana, to turn it into a training facility for data center employees. But this new rush is a source of both excitement and anxiety for residents of these towns, who worry about tying their town’s economy so tightly with an industry as new and complex as this one. In a meeting attended by a Buzzfeed reporter, residents of Bonner expressed their concerns over the new ‘rush’ as ‘miners’ listened and tried to explain their business and why it’s not bad for the town.
Residents claimed the wildlife has been affected by the new industry, and that hummingbirds and deer are nowhere to be found since it started six months ago. They also complained about feeling anxiety and depression and of having trouble sleeping, as well as of falling property prices. One resident even complained she and her dog were itching all over and losing their hair. The cryptocurrency company that now functions from the former lumber mill building in Bonner, Project Spokane, has received plenty of scrutiny. While the company tried maintaining the location a secret for security reasons, the loud fans in the building gave it up last summer.
A local newspaper, Missoula’s alt-weekly, published a deep investigation in January where they revealed the company’s CEO Sean Walsh had business ties with a man who has been convicted of money laundering and charged for an illegal industrial marijuana grow operation. But Project Spokane has insisted there’s nothing to fear about their presence in the town, and that skepticism about their operation stems from the public’s confusion abut what Bitcoin is an how it works. It’s hard because we have to keep some stuff close to the vest, but it doesn’t mean there’s anything sinister we’re hiding,’ Project Spokane’s Jason Vaughan told Buzzfeed. This new rush is a source of both excitement and anxiety for residents of these towns, who worry about tying their economy so tightly with an industry as new and complex as this one. Solving these puzzles requires a huge amount of computing power, which means a lot of time, electricity and money need to be put into the business. The way to the top of this business is to have more running mining rigs working to solve puzzled than competitors.