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Appalachia residents claim they are being driven out of their neighborhood after the crypto mine opened




Residents of an Appalachian North Carolina town say they are being forced from their homes by a noisy cryptocurrency mine that has drawn petitions and protests.

The facility in Murphy, one of two in Cherokee County, has consistently made a noise that resident Mike Lugiewicz describes as “a little jet that never leaves.” In September, a mine was described as “more expensive than beef production.”

Sound meters run by Lugiewicz out of his garden showed the incessant noise from the stacks of computer servers and cooling fans scoring from 55 to 85 decibels.

“There’s a racetrack three miles away right here,”[ads1]; Lugiewicz said. “You can hear the cars driving. It’s cool.’

“But at least they stop,” neighbor Judy Stines added to CNN. “And you can go to bed.”

Appalachia residents claim they are being driven out of their neighborhood after the crypto mine opened

Residents of a North Carolina Appalachian town say they are being forced from their homes by a noisy cryptocurrency mine that has drawn petitions and protests

Bans on crypto from places like China have led those looking to harvest to look for locations along Appalachia, as electricity is relatively inexpensive and regulation typically non-existent in those areas.

A company called PrimeBlock has bought a dozen mines across North Carolina, as well as in Tennessee and Kentucky.

The company – based in San Francisco – has raised about $300 million in equity funding and is likely to go public soon.

Despite a largely Republican and libertarian base, the noise has forced residents to demand that local governments do something about it, and the commission board recently asked state and federal officials to regulate crypto mining.

“I personally think if we can get a bill into the system, other (North Carolina) counties will join,” board chairman Cal Stiles said.

Chandler Song, PrimeBlock Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, said such regulation would be “constitutional, to say the least” and said of the locales, “Oh boy, they wanted us so bad a year ago.”

PrimeBlock representatives were scheduled to speak at a Cherokee County board meeting, but County Commission Chairman Dan Eichenbaum said they decided not to come because someone fired on one of the service lines.

Resident Mike Lugiewicz (pictured left) describes the noise as

Resident Mike Lugiewicz (pictured left) describes the noise as “a little jet that never leaves”

Bans on crypto from places like China have led those looking to harvest to look for locations along Appalachia, as power is relatively inexpensive and regulation typically non-existent in those areas

Bans on crypto from places like China have led those looking to harvest to look for locations along Appalachia, as power is relatively inexpensive and regulation typically non-existent in those areas

Song has since said he has heard no complaints from the county, but promised PrimeBlock would build noise isolation walls and install water-based cooling systems that made noise, the Washington Post reported.

They did, but only on two sides of the mine before construction stopped, which only angered the residents.

Both Song and co-founder Ryan Fang were featured in a 2017 Forbes list of young entrepreneurs who were able to raise over $10 million in funding for projects.

PrimeBlock claimed nearly $25 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2021 and an estimated enterprise value of $1.25 billion.

Despite a largely Republican and libertarian base, the noise has forced residents to demand that local governments do something about it, and the Board of Commissioners (pictured) recently called on state and federal officials to regulate crypto mining

Despite a largely Republican and libertarian base, the noise has forced residents to demand that local governments do something about it, and the Board of Commissioners (pictured) recently called on state and federal officials to regulate crypto mining

Chandler Song, PrimeBlock co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, said such regulation would be

Chandler Song, PrimeBlock co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, said such regulation would be “unconstitutional, to say the least” and said of the locales, “Oh boy, they wanted us so bad a year ago.”

Song has yet to respond to any follow-up questions. DailyMail.com has contacted a PrimeBlock spokesperson for comment.

The mines, along with winter storms, have been blamed for rolling blackouts in the power grid built by the Tennessee Valley Authority, something that has rarely happened in the program’s New Deal-era history. The mine was never closed.

“They shut us down on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day every hour for anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes to an hour,” resident Ron Wright said. “Well, when your power goes out, your heat pumps go off and your pipes freeze.”

Lugiewicz and Stines are still fighting, but Lugiewicz has posted a for sale sign on his home.

“September 2021, I think, is when they put this on and my wife and I just shook our heads and said, ‘No, we’re out of here.’

Despite promises PrimeBlock would build noise-insulating walls and install sound-absorbing water-based cooling systems, they only built them on two sides of the mine before construction stopped, which only angered the residents

Despite promises PrimeBlock would build noise-insulating walls and install sound-absorbing water-based cooling systems, they only built them on two sides of the mine before construction stopped, which only angered the residents

The mines, along with winter storms, have been blamed for rolling blackouts in the power grid built by the Tennessee Valley Authority, something that has rarely happened in the program's New Deal-era history.  The mine was never closed

The mines, along with winter storms, have been blamed for rolling blackouts in the power grid built by the Tennessee Valley Authority, something that has rarely happened in the program’s New Deal-era history. The mine was never closed

The Murphy facility made waves throughout neighboring Clay County, which passed a ban on commercial crypto mining last August.

“In terms of environmental impacts, the board found that cryptocurrency mining contributes to climate change, noise pollution, environmental destruction, huge amounts of energy used including but not limited to electrical energy,” the regulation said.

County Commissioner Clay Logan told the Clay County Progress it was “just common sense.”

Both Change.org and the Sierra Club have launched petitions against the mines.



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