Bitcoin mining is about to become way harder for US-based miners, not because of the automatic difficulty adjustments but because of local politicians. This time, the state of Washington announced a significant price increase that could make many miners consider moving to another state or even country.
On June 01, Chelan County, one of the 39 counties in Washington, announced the implementation of a new energy tariff for Bitcoin miners that will increase the previous rates by 29%.
“Tariff 36,” says that mining companies will have to pay a higher rate than all customers because their electricity consumption is much higher than the standard rate.
On the other hand, according to local media, NewsRadio 560 KPQ Douglas County (another county in Washington) does not allow the opening of mining companies due to their high energy consumption, which according to county data, is 25% of the available energy.
The New Tariff Was Due to Take Effect at the Beginning of 2022
According to KPQ, the new tariff should have come into effect in early 2022; however, possibly due to all the new rules and regulations being implemented in the country, it was delayed until June.
Garry Arseneault, PUD Commissioner, said the new tariff was “innovative.” He argued that the commission simply created a new rate for this type of demand.
Tariff 36 will not be charged immediately to three major mining companies (they did not officially name the companies), as they had made “significant investments in their operations” prior to its implementation.
Chelan County Claims It Is Not Against Bitcoin Mining
For the past 4 years, Chelan County’s Public Utility District (PUD) has taken steps to stop illegal cryptocurrency mining, as, initially, the city was at the forefront of this type of activity.
However, it quickly became a problem for the county due to the amount of electricity needed by the miners, even posing fire risks in several locations and potentially causing damage to the county’s electrical equipment. This led the PUD to carry out several power outages to protect the equipment.
Using this argument, Arseneault clarifies that Chelan County is not against mining or cryptocurrencies whatsoever, but the county cannot tolerate underground miners operating illegally utilizing the county’s energy deliberately and without paying the appropriate fee for it.
It should be noted that although the increase in energy rates seems a bit high for mining activity, this is an activity that other states want to ban or delay for environmental reasons. So, for now, Chelan miners can continue to operate with peace of mind paying a little more than before.