There’s (crypto) gold in the hills of New York
Mar 14, 2022

There’s (crypto) gold in the hills of New York

Cryptocurrency miners have flocked to upstate New York for its cheap energy — and not all locals are happy about it.

Upstate New York is in the middle of a digital gold rush led by cryptocurrency “miners” who compete to have their computers solve puzzles that keep cryptocurrency systems running. They can win prizes — like newly minted bitcoin — for solving them.

These miners have been flocking to the region for a couple of years now, bringing a potential influx of jobs and economic activity, as well as the environmental side effects of crypto mining.

Marketplace Senior Reporter Lily Jamali has been looking into this recent crypto rush.

Note: This story was originally heard on “Marketplace.” You can read the web version here.

Related links: More insight from Kimberly Adams

Lily also mentioned China’s ban on crypto mining, which is leading to more crypto miners setting up shop in other countries like the U.S. and Kazakhstan.

The New York Times has a piece on how bitcoin mining globally has used less renewable energy and relied more on fossil fuels like coal and natural gas after the ban in China, which has lots of available hydropower.

Lawmakers in Georgia, meanwhile, introduced a bill last month that would provide tax exemptions to crypto miners in an attempt to bring jobs to the state.

They may join other states like Kentucky and Texas, which already have laws giving crypto miners tax breaks.

Speaking of Texas, we’ll have a future story on how the state has been navigating its influx of crypto miners at a time when residents are still afraid that another huge winter storm — like the one that hit in 2021 — could crash their electricity grid. Again.

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Music from the episode

Afternoon Soul Gramatik
Drifting Maverick Sabre
What's Up fanclubwallet
Megaton Mile Local Natives

The team

Daniel Shin Producer
Jesús Alvarado Associate Producer