CLINTON — The unwelcome side effects of bitcoin mining have come to Clinton.
A local resident addressed the city council on Tuesday complaining that a Bitcoin mining site near her house is creating a major noise problem. She works from home and said she has to run a television to try to block out the sound.
Alia Burton and her family live near a building that once housed Miller’s Front End Shop. She said the current owners have set up a Bitcoin mining operation in the building.
Burton fears it could be a fire hazard and said the fan being used to exhaust the hot air from the building is so loud she can hear it inside her house. Commissioner Ken Buchanan confirmed the fan was unusually loud.
Bitcoin mining involves the use of a series of computers working to solve complex mathematical formula that verify crypto-currency transactions. The more computers that are working, the more heat they generate.
In the Finger Lakes area of Upstate New York, a gas-fired power plant enlarged to service the massive bitcoin mining activity in that area has been blamed for heating Seneca Lake. Residents there claim the lake is often as warm as a hot tub from all of the crypto-currency mining computers.
“I can’t open my windows because I hear it in my house,” Burton said. “When the fan kicks on high, I can hear it with the windows closed. To be honest, it’s causing some mental health issues with me.”
Burton said she had tried to contact the facility’s owner but was unsuccessful.
“This is my home; this is where I live, for 17 years,” Burton said. “And, now I have this business next to me. They never have to be there to listen to this. They don’t have to try to sleep with this.”
Mayor Roger Cyruilk said he had been unaware of the situation but that the city would see what it could do. The Clinton Fire Department will investigate to see if the facility poses a fire hazard, said commissioner Dan Ballenger.