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Washington State District Shuts Down ‘Unauthorized’ Cryptocurrency Mines

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Utility operators in Washington State have elected to shut down power to three separate “rogue” crypto mining operations that haven’t been provisioned for such energy usage.

The Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) said Monday that the three mines, located “in a Wenatchee apartment, a Malaga home and Chelan mini-storage unit [were] using enough power to create fire risks for neighbors and damage grid equipment not sized for the load.” Because of this, utility officials chose to disconnect the power to those sites.

“Not only are we concerned, we’re incensed that individuals are putting people at risk,” PUD Commissioner Steve McKenna said on Monday. “We’re not going to tolerate it. This is a strong message, and I want to make that very clear.”

PUD commissioner Garry Arseneault said that in the future, offenders will be fined or worse, but clarified that any heightened restrictions would focus on rogue mining operations, not mines that have been approved and follow the rules.

Arseneault was quoted as saying:

“What we’re discussing is a person who is purposely trying to slip around the end and use power in a way that a facility was not designed for and doing so in a manner where there’s been no request for service. … I see yet, once again, a reason to support the installation of automated meters to be able to confront these scoundrels before they do burn an apartment building down and perhaps kill a family or children in the process.”

Chelan County has an abundancy of cheap hydropwer, making it a perfect county for these costly, energy thirsty crypto mines to set up shop.

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