Hundreds of prospectors are here in the North Country looking to strike it rich. The modern-day gold rush is the result of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency mining operators setting up shop in Plattsburgh to take advantage of the city’s cheap electric rates. The larger-scale mining operations use massive amounts of electricity to run their thousands of computers, and that fueled a spike in demand for electricity that drove up rates for other power customers in Plattsburgh. In response, the City Council has passed an 18-month moratorium on new cryptocurrency mining operations, and the New York State Public Service Commission has approved new power rates for mining operations to cover increased usage and costs.
The moratorium has put the City of Plattsburgh in the national spotlight, which is what brought the PBS NewsHour and Economics Correspondent Paul Solman to the North Country recently to report on the impact this “gold rush” is having on the city.
Watch Paul Solman’s PBS NewsHour Making Sense report on Bitcoin mining:
Watch our extended interview with Mayor Colin Read on the growing popularity of Block Chain technology: