by Gil Davis
Just east out of Seattle lies the small town of Wenatchee, Washington. Little attention has been paid to this quaint locale until very recently when large numbers of Bitcoin (BTC) miners relocated to the area.
New Crypto Home
A dozen of the US’ largest cryptocurrency and BTC miners now call Wenatchee home, with more heading that way as fast as possible since the massive BTC price increases in the latter half of 2017.
Steve Wright heads the local power utilities of the area and claimed another 75 large miners have inquired about moving into the area. He had this to say on the matter:
“We’ve come from just a few people out there who have been knocking on the door all of a sudden to people who are banging on the door pretty loudly.”
One of the first miner’s in the region was Malachi Salcido. He currently heads three different mining operations in the area which consistently produce up to seven BTC per day. To do this, he needs up to 7.5 megawatts of power but plans to expand this to a whopping 42 megawatts and 50 BTC a day by July.
The answer to why so many miners are interested in this area comes from a few places. The biggest, of course, is the power cost in the area.
Wenatchee lies near the Columbia River, which hosts a series of dams that provide consistent and cheap electricity at the cost of two to three cents per kilowatt hours. This is nearly a fifth of the nation’s average electricity cost.
But beyond this factor, the climate of Washington is ideal for keeping their massive mining rigs cool during all seasons without having a massive spike during the summer months. Further, Wenatchee happens to have an excellent internet infrastructure. Wright continues:
“So we have not only low-cost electricity but also very good access to internet. [People] put those two together and think ‘opportunity for bitcoin.’”
Bitcoin Exuberance Meets Community Skepticism
Wright and the rest of the Wenatchee citizens are cautious and slightly worried about this new boom of interest in their township. They’re concerned about people coming in, using up their resources, and leaving the rest of them stuck with the aftermath of whatever they wrought during their time in the town.
Salcido, who still pays over $100,000 in monthly utilities for his mining operations, sees it all as worth it. He sees the future of a cashless society and wishes to be a big part of the coming revolution he envisions. Salcido said that,
“We mine bitcoin because bitcoin blockchain is becoming the cashless, peer-to-peer payment settlement system of the future. [This] is a true peer-to-peer settlement tech that once it’s mature, is going to significantly disrupt these existing markets and it’s going to make new direct purchase options available that there are not tech options available currently on the market.”
Its likely more situations like Wenatchee will occur as the cryptocurrency mining scene gains steam. Though it’s big now, if the currency reaches the mainstream appeal that people like Salcido envision, there’s no telling what lengths miners will go to gain an edge.