Dayton considers regulations on cryptocurrency mining sites

Dayton city planning staff have proposed new regulations to limit where cryptocurrency mining operations can set up shop in the city.

Staff have drafted a proposed zoning code text amendment that would allow larger-scale crypto mining only in general industrial zoning districts.

High-powered computers and hardware are required to solve complicated math problems that verify transactions that mine digital currencies, putting new “coins” into circulation.

Some of the larger cryptocurrencies include bitcoin, ether and ravencoin.

If not properly regulated, crypto mining can disrupt power grids due to their high energy consumption, especially in residential areas, according to the proposed text amendment language.

Equipment at these kinds of facilities also can create “noise pollution” that impacts surrounding residents, businesses and wildlife, and the operations can produce electronic waste containing potentially harmful heavy metals and carcinogens, the language states.

Tony Kroeger, the city of Dayton’s division manager of planning and land use, said the proposed regulations would not impact mining that occurs at an “accessory level,” such as through personal computers.

Caption
Chris Radwanski, data center supervisor, checks on bitcoin mining machines in a shipping container behind the Scrubgrass Power plant on Friday, July 23, 2021, in Russellton, Pa. (Andrew Rush/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

Credit: Andrew Rush

Chris Radwanski, data center supervisor, checks on bitcoin mining machines in a shipping container behind the Scrubgrass Power plant on Friday, July 23, 2021, in Russellton, Pa. (Andrew Rush/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)
Caption
Chris Radwanski, data center supervisor, checks on bitcoin mining machines in a shipping container behind the Scrubgrass Power plant on Friday, July 23, 2021, in Russellton, Pa. (Andrew Rush/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

Credit: Andrew Rush

Credit: Andrew Rush

Kroeger said he’s not aware of any current operations in the city that would be impacted by the new restrictions.

Some companies are working to open cryptocurrency mining farms and centers in Ohio.

A company called Standard Power recently announced plans to turn an abandoned paper mill in Coshocton into a bitcoin mining facility.

More than one in 10 Americans have invested in cryptocurrency in the past year, according to a survey by NORC at the University of Chicago, though values can wildly fluctuate.

CNBC this summer reported that the United States has become the second largest bitcoin mining nation in the world.

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