Commissioners Impose 60-Day Halt on Crypto Mining


The McDowell County Board of Commissioners voted Monday, May 15 to place a moratorium of 60 days on the location and operation of cryptocurrency mining in McDowell. During the board’s second monthly regular meeting, a public hearing was held and the board decided to implement the moratorium. County Manager Ashley Wooten said the board will decide on July 10 if the moratorium is extended or terminated.

Similar to the actions of the county commissioners, the Marion City Council held a hearing on a proposed moratorium of one year for cryptocurrency mining operations in April. This would allow for the investigation of the impact and development of rules “that would allow for such use while protecting the public health and general welfare of the community and its economic prosperity.”

The definition of mining is “the continuous process where computers work to solve algorithms to maintain and build algorithmic, or blockchain, and in exchange are granted cryptocurrency.” Cryptocurrency is a digital form of currency and is a digital payments system that doesn’t rely on banks for transaction verification. Mining cryptocurrency uses significant amounts of electricity and water to run special servers, maintain a cool temperature, and keep the city of Marion Officials have said.

In other business Monday, the McDowell County Board of Commissioners heard the monthly Department of Social Services Update from Director Bobbie Sigmon. Her concerns continue to focus on the number of children placed in foster care and the upcoming Medicaid. The DSS main building is overcrowded and needs to expand. The commissioners also approved the implementation of a new system for managing human resources and authorized moving the county’s bank accounts to First Bank, which is a better investment than a savings account. A 38-minute session was held to discuss personnel issues, however, no action was taken afterward.

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