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Excavating the Truth Around the Bitcoin Mining Discourse

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Excavating the Truth Around the Bitcoin Mining Discourse

Excavating the Truth Around the Bitcoin Mining Discourse

In 2015, a group of CoinDesk press reporters took a trip to Seneca Lake to take a look at the result Greenidge Generation– a reanimated power plant that now mines bitcoin– had on the surrounding neighborhoods. We anticipated to hear residents state they did not like the plant and its ongoing operation, we discovered the opposite.

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Vacation False information snowball

The narrative

Bitcoin mining is showing progressively questionable, partially due to the large energy requirements and partially since the crypto neighborhood hasn't yet persuaded its critics that there is worth to this entire thing.

Why it matters

Much of the argument around crypto mining does not have subtlety or context.

These arguments are having an effect on policy, and the absence of precise details about these datacenters is straight impacting individuals who live near them. We're seeing every element of this argument get based upon an alternative truth, what my coworker Cheyenne Ligon referred to as a “false information snowball.” Today's short article is an effort to tamp that down, a minimum of as this concern refers to Greenidge Generation, a center operating on the coast of Seneca Lake, New York.


Last summer season, CoinDesk's Cheyenne Ligon, Doreen Wang and Nolen Hayes and I drove to Dresden, N.Y. to check out the questionable Greenidge Generation mining center. My expectation was we ‘d discover a power plant that irritated its next-door neighbors, stimulated algal blossoms in close-by Seneca Lake and negatively impacted the more comprehensive neighborhood.

Greenidge, after all, was the source of lots of headings, varying from reports about how it was boiling the waterways to presenting fresh contamination to the fragile environments close by.

What we discovered was something totally various, refuting my previous expectations and showing that the scenario was even more complicated and nuanced than anticipated– and potentially distinct amongst the more comprehensive crypto mining discussion in the U.S.

CoinDesk's report, which we released earlier today, can be discovered here. I wished to likewise use a first-person point of view on how we reported this story and what we found out.

One essential disclaimer: This report exclusively concentrates on the experiences of one neighborhood in a distinct environment. Other mining centers use existing energy grids or construct their own storage facilities, and those neighborhoods will have their own experiences. To put it simply, our report today concentrates on Greenidge Generation and its surrounding neighborhoods. It can not be compared to Riot Platforms in Rockdale, Texas or rogue mining operations in Chelan County, Washington and even Coinmint in close-by Plattsburgh, N.Y.

We make this exact same point in the short article itself since it's worth making. The post isn't a defense of bitcoin mining or the philosophical concern of whether bitcoin deserves the energy expenses. Our objective is to demonstrate how a discussion that does not consist of individuals most straight affected can result in wonky results.

Among the most sensational claims we revealed in reporting this short article was that nobody– none of the critics or legislators passing legislation due to Greenidge, nor any of the bitcoiners safeguarding the market– had actually connected to the towns near the center. William Hall, the mayor of Dresden, N.Y., informed us “no one has actually ever pertained to talk with us about” Greenidge. We examined once again previous to publication– we're still the only ones to have actually checked out.

In between this and the cascading series of failures and personal bankruptcies that shook the crypto market over the last couple of months, we weren't able to approach this post with the attention it should have.

Previously this year, we saw Congressional hearings at the state and federal level resolving crypto mining– and at least one of the witnesses made claims that were plainly unreliable.

That caused today's post, led by Cheyenne. The dispute around crypto mining is plainly driving policy, therefore it's worth continuing to clarify the truth on the ground.

On an individual note, this report marks the last significant pieces released by Cheyenne and Doreen, both of whom have actually been a satisfaction to deal with and who will be missed out on. I'll simply state I ‘d like to thank them for their contributions and want them well on their future journeys.

vacation CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk press reporters Doreen Wang, Cheyenne Ligon and Nikhilesh De

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If you've got ideas or concerns on what I need to talk about next week or any other feedback you ‘d like to share, do not hesitate to email me at nik@coindesk.com or discover me on Twitter @nikhileshde.

You can likewise sign up with the group discussion on Telegram.

Modified by James Rubin.

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