Crypto Miners in Chelan County Protest Proposed Cryptocurrency Rate Structure

An increase in the rate structure for cryptocurrency mining has been proposed by the Chelan County Public Utility District (PUB). Miners, on the other hand, say it is not in their best interest.

The debate for an increased rate for cryptocurrency mining has been going on for some time. At the center of this debate is the amount of power consumed by mining cryptocurrencies. Most times, the amount of power required to mine cryptocurrencies surpasses the average power consumption in the area. Miners pay the same amount for power as with every other member of the county. This is about to change with the proposed rate structure. Miners will be required to pay for the extra power they use, much to their chagrin.

Customer Utility Rate Adviser, Linsey Mohns of Chelan PUD, while talking about the new proposal explained that this rate structure is built the same way as the existing rate structure that cryptocurrency miners are paying right now, which is also referred to as Schedule 35. He further explained that this new rate, also known as Schedule 36, would bring with it a market consideration of the energy price as it would require them to purchase power on the market which would serve as the variable load associated with cryptocurrency.

The upfront capital charges, he stressed, are intended to help recover the increased cost of infrastructure investment in the system; therefore, these charges would take into account the capacity that is used by crypto miners.

Chelan County PUD expects miners to bear the cost of the extra power crypto-mining requires. The public should not be made to pay for the power they did not use. This was seen in the statement made by Chelan PUD’s public information officer, Kimberlee Craig. According to her, Chelan PUD intends to address the rate structure in such a way that the cost is captured and the investment is protected for the consumers. This comes as a big blow to cryptocurrency miners who have been having a tough 2018. The price of Bitcoin has gone down drastically compared to the all-time-high price it achieved in December 2017.

The increase in the price of Bitcoin in 2017 led several crypto-miners and mining companies to move their operations to electricity-rich regions in the U.S and elsewhere, hoping that their operations would be boosted greatly because power was cheap and plentiful. The reverse has been the case as several regions in New York, Quebec and Washington have imposed rate hikes and strict operational safety standards on cryptocurrency mines.

Cryptocurrency miners were at the meeting on the 7th of November, where Chelan PUD explained their proposition. They were certainly not happy. Denton Meier, the co-owner of Griefly Technologies and Silicon Orchard made his dissatisfaction known while responding to the heartbreaking news he heard. He asserted that he would like to express his displeasure but he thinks they had made up their mind already.

If the structure is approved, Meier added that Chelan could witness an exodus of cryptocurrency miners as well as any type of related job creation.

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