Cryptocurrency zoning regulations now permanent in Missoula County


Noise was another issue, one which was heavily discussed in July of 2018. The Bonner mining operation was forced to replace 144 fans after residents in the area complained about noise.

Under the new zoning laws, facilities may only be present in districts zoned light industrial and heavy industrial.

As for the final two points, it was better understood that large cryptocurrency mine operators rarely overtaxed machines to the point where they overheat, Maneta said.

Utility companies the county worked with, including NorthWestern Energy, were also not concerned about their ability to have service issues associated with increased power demand.

The county looked extensively at fires caused by overheating machines and even considered fires caused by overtaxed transformers and other parts of the energy grid that could have had the potential to spark.

Drawn by cheap power

Whether a new cryptocurrency mine will set up shop in Missoula County remains to be seen.

Cheap energy is the major reason cryptocurrency operations have flocked to Montana and western Washington in recent years. Other areas of major cryptocurrency mining include China and the Republic of Georgia.

One of the most common currencies mined is Bitcoin, which is currently worth around $56,257 per Bitcoin. A year ago this time, one Bitcoin was worth around $7,000. Bitcoin also had a peak in December of 2017 to around $19,000, which was the background for much of the original conversation surrounding the need for more stringent zoning regulations. 

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