MASSENA — Town of Massena officials have scheduled a public hearing for 4:30 p.m. Aug. 4 to take comments on a proposal to place a 90-day moratorium on cryptocurrency mining operations in the town while regulations are drawn up to address what they say are unsightly shipping containers.
“Particularly the sea boxes or the trailers,” Town Supervisor Steven D. O’Shaughnessy said. “What we want to put in place is regulations, zoning laws that prohibit the cryptocurrency from just plunking trailers down, like a shipping container.”
Mr. O’Shaughnessy said they want to ensure that whatever is used for the operations be a presentable building.
There are currently no regulations related to cryptocurrency mining operations in the town.
Deputy Supervisor Samuel D. Carbone Jr. said the shipping containers have changed over the years.
“When that was first proposed, it was a silo-type from silo drawings. That was three or four years ago anyway,” he said.
But then it turned into shipping containers with computers in them, including some that were visible from the road on County Route 42, Mr. Carbone said.
The proposed moratorium would expire on Nov. 30, 2021, giving the town time to draw up and enact “comprehensive regulations regarding cryptocurrency mining operations in the Town,” according to the proposed law.
“The Town Board believes that such a moratorium will protect the public interest and welfare of the residents of the Town until such comprehensive regulations are adopted,” it says.
The proposed law defines cryptocurrency mining as “the commercial process by which cryptocurrency transactions are verified and added to the public ledger, known as the block chain, and also the means through which new units of cryptocurrencies are released, through the use of server farms employing data processing equipment.”
It continues, “For purposes of this section any equipment which requires a high density load service or any server farm will constitute a cryptocurrency mining operation. High density load service herein shall be the same as set forth in the tariff of the Town of Massena Electric Department. Server farm, as used herein, shall be three or more interconnected computers housed together in a single facility whose primary function is to perform cryptocurrency mining or associated data processing.”