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Montana County adopts Regulation for Crypto Mining

Per a news by local media outlet Missoulian, United States County of Missoula has recently adopted regulation for crypto mining. The County board of Commissioners voted and collectively the decision was made to adopt new rules of regulations for crypto mining operations. 

The county website contains two drafts, one being the Cryptocurrency Mining Resolution and the other one the Cryptocurrency Mining Zoning Overlay District Regulations. The latter draft establishes locations where cryptocurrency mining operations may be sited in Missoula County and conditions that must be met in order to protect the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of county residents.

The new law is primarily focussed on eliminating electronic waste and curbing hazards of global warming due to cryptocurrency mining. The crypto miners can now carry out operations only after a review and approval.Mining operations can be located only in light industrial and heavy industrial districts. 

Furthermore, the miners would require to provide a certification that all wastes generated will be handled by the Department of Environmental Quality-licensed recycling firm.
The report further mentions that pre-existing mining operations which are not in lines with regulations can continue with their operations. However, they won’t be licensed for expansion if they don’t confirm with the new regulations. As per the draft the rules will be effective as of April 4, 2019 and until April 3, 2020.

County commissioner Dave Strohmaier purportedly commented: “Near as I can tell cryptocurrency is using exponentially more energy; it’s a grotesque amount of energy and we’ve got to take steps to address it. [...] We’ve got to utilize new renewables if we’re going to address climate change.”

Hyperblock manager Dan Stivers, however,  defended the company by stating that it has always used only renewable energy. Also, t it could have used electricity obtained by burning coal since it was cheaper. He further claims that Hyperblock uses a licensed recycler to deal with its electronic waste, adding:


“Somehow none of that’s enough. It is a viable business model and if we had not moved in as anchor tenants, there would be no Bonner mill as we see it today.”

The Missoulian notes that the county’s staff claim mining company Hyperblock is currently utilizing as much electricity as one-third of all homes in the county. Moreover, they plan to triple its power usage.

Hyperblock  purchases hydroelectric power to fuel its endeavors, but as per the commissioners reportedly it displaces other potential renewable energy buyers. According to the Missoulian, a lawyer for the company hinted that it may file a lawsuit over the regulation in the future.