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U.S. town residents push back against world’s largest Bitcoin mining facility due to fears of increased bills

U.S. town residents push back against world’s largest Bitcoin mining facility due to fears of increased bills

As cryptocurrencies become increasingly popular, more individuals and organizations are deciding to jump on the bandwagon and mine them – which sometimes sparks pushback from parties concerned over the effects of this practice.

Indeed, one of the communities where crypto mining might come into question due to local pushback is the town of Corsicana in the Navarro County, Texas, where Bitcoin (BTC) mining company Riot Blockchain is building the world’s largest crypto mining facility on a 265-acre property, The Dallas Morning News reported on June 16.

One of the largest Bitcoin mining companies in the world plans to power its facility through a high-voltage transmission line, called a switch. Explaining why they picked this location to build their facility, Riot Blockchain’s chief commercial officer Chad Harris said:

“You had two very valuable resources. You had the Navarro switch and you had water.”

The new facility will be 30% larger than the company’s existing facility in Rockdale and will have a maximum capacity of 1 gigawatt. According to the report, this is enough to power 300,000 to 1 million U.S. homes and has been announced as a major economic development for the community.

Reasons for resistance to mining

However, the project’s announcement has provoked resistance from some of the locals. Their leader, Jackie Sawicky, expressed skepticism about the announcement, stating that:

“They announced it like it’s something we should be grateful for. They are exploiting our resources and what do we get in return?”

Sawicky also believes crypto assets are a Ponzi scheme, as she explained that:

“We can’t go into a store and buy anything from them.”

One of the things the group is most concerned about is the water usage that the facility would use to cool its equipment at a time when the county is facing a drought. Their other concerns include the potential increase in water and electricity bills. 

For these reasons, they have organized themselves through a Facebook page called “Concerned citizens of Navarro Country” and started a petition titled “NO to Riot Bitcoin Mine in Navarro County,” which has so far gathered 635 signatures.

That said, according to Riot Blockchain’s CCO:

“99.9% of people are ecstatic.”

He also added that the site’s landowner liked the idea of selling his land to them because they would add jobs to the community, with pay ranging between about $15 and $35 an hour, in addition to salaried positions.

Notably, a few days before, Finbold reported on a Bitcoin mining facility in Limestone, Tennessee, shutting down and relocating after the county’s commissioners approved the settlement of a lawsuit filed after complaints from nearby residents due to the facility producing too much noise.

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