Bitcoin mining in Niagara Falls goes ‘brrr’ in all the wrong ways

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The noise pollution of bitcoin mining in Niagara Falls has led to City Hall ordering two major operations to shut down until they take measures to reduce the sound of cooling fans — but only one has complied so far.

Locals complain of a constant ‘haunting hum’ from Blockfusion and US Bitcoin, who set up shop in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Residents used to enjoy the steady roar of the famous waterfall, but say they can no longer hear it over the bitcoin mining noise.

“It sounds like a 747 jet,” resident Frank Peller told reporters. The 70-year-old lives over a mile away from US Bitcoin. “It’s the loudest in the morning, at night, and if there’s high humidity and a breeze.”

Despite taking drastic measures to block it out, like wearing headphones, locals felt they had no choice but to seek legal action.

Even Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino agrees the bitcoin mining din is too much: “The noise pollution of this industry is like nothing else that has been there,” he said.

A flurry of complaints left City Hall with no choice but to declare a moratorium on new mining activity at the end of last year, and force US Bitcoin and Blockfusion to cease operations until strict noise limits have been met.

France24 visited Niagara Falls to hear the haunting hum themselves.

Read more: Place your bets: How many bitcoin miners will survive winter?

Both companies say they are cooperating with the limitations, but only Blockfusion has reduced its bitcoin mining operations in Niagara Falls, AFP reports. US Bitcoin is still running at full capacity, but says it has erected a plastic barrier.

“We also conducted acoustic studies and had plans drawn for a larger noise abatement wall” that wasn’t able to be built on account of the moratorium, the company said.

Residents remain determined to hold the outfits accountable, however. “I’m going to be protesting till the hum is gone, basically, till I get the roar of the falls back because that’s what I used to hear,” a local told reporters (our emphasis).

Further legal action is being considered against bitcoin mining in Niagara Falls. “Right now, we are working with our attorneys as well as with our residents to make sure that we have our documents in place so that if they continue to refuse to comply with our order to stop, then we’ll have to be in court,” Mayor Restaino told France24 in a video interview.

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