Bitcoin Mining Comes to Appalachia — With Noise in Tow

Turns out crypto mining can get loud

Bitcoin logo
On one hand, economic revitalization. On the other, a lot of noise.
Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

What price would you pay to revitalize an economically troubled part of the country? If you’ve spent enough time reading about Appalachia, you might have noticed predictions that the region could see a boom in tech jobs in the years to come. What form could those jobs take? Everything from producing clean energy to mining cryptocurrency.

When it comes to the latter, however, there might be some questions for local governments to consider. A new article at The Washington Post explores the experience of Limestone, Tennessee — a town where Red Dog Technologies opened a Bitcoin mine last year.

As the article notes, Appalachia became a more desirable location for crypto mining after China banned it. The downside? As the New York Times reported earlier this year, the exodus of cryptocurrency mines from China has had an adverse impact on the environment.

The experience of many Limestone residents also reveals another unpleasant aspect of crypto mines: they can be incredibly loud. One resident quoted in the Post‘s article compared the sound to a military jet engine. Red Dog has taken steps to reduce the noise, but a number of variables — including wind and the time of year — can still come into play. It’s a further complication for an already-complex situation, and one that could have ramifications for a region’s economic growth.

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