A Utility Provider Calls for an Upgrade in Security Measures amidst Suspension on Crypto Mining
A utility provider in Washington has employed strict security measures to save it from unauthorized crypto miners. Earlier this year, the company banned its services to crypto mining farms as it was not able to provide for its regular clients. Although the situation seems grave there has not been any incident that would require police assistance.
Chelan County Power Utility District (PUD) of north-central Washington is the utility provider that has installed security cameras and bulletproof panels at PUD headquarters. The company is sacred from a possible retaliation from “two cryptocurrency-related groups — unauthorized miners whose power has been disconnected and high-density load service applicants denied because of the current moratorium.”
Chelan County PUD’s commissioners launched “an emergency moratorium on new high-density load hookups to give staff time to develop a plan for dealing with the demand for electricity from digital currency miners” in March.”
According to the spokeswoman of Chelan County PUD, the employees of the company working in the field as well as the office have recorded issues in the high-density load service which has been a discomfort for customers of the company. She said that such instances could not be avoided, but her company’s aim has always been to keep public, employees and the customer’s safe in situations of heightened emotions.
Craig also confirmed that currently law enforcement is not needed as the incidents have not escalated to a concerning level. She added, “The volume of requests and the sense of urgency by applicants has changed the dynamics of the interaction by staff with the cryptocurrency customers.”
As per Chelan County PUD, when it launched the suspension the company had 22 approved high-density load customers that used about 13.5 megawatts in total, 19 applications for 16.3 megawatts were pending and 28 illegal operations have been identified. It also had a watchlist of 12 which was growing, and of the 28 unsupervised operations, 19 were closed.
After taking strict actions, PUD’s staff was able to recognize an average of three unauthorized operations a week. The company has said that unregulated bitcoin miners overload the system that can lead to fire hazards and damage to power grid’s infrastructure.
In April, the company tried to humble the enthusiasm of bitcoin miners by disconnecting the power supply and increasing fees for in-home crypto operations up to $6,150 and $11,400 for those operating in commercial space. The fee was also applicable to users that violated the policy of PUD.
The utility provides hopes that its suspension has broken down the spirits of unauthorized Bitcoin miners that have not been identified yet. It has requested unauthorized users to shut down their operations and report to the company for becoming a member of the immunity period. In this period commissioners would be conducting a public hearing to decide whether PUD has the authority to continue its suspension policy.
Crypto mining has become a serious issue for power providers especially in smaller cities as miners inflate the energy consumption manifolds. It eventually leads to a system breakdown and insufficient power for regular consumers. As of now, it seems like a never-ending war with crypto miners on the winning side.