'Belligerent' Crypto Miners Prompt Power Utility to Beef Up Security
A public utility in one of the U.S. hot spots for bitcoin mining is adopting new security measures in light of harassment of some of its employees. The steps are being taken by the Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) in Washington County - as previously reported, the area has attracted a number of bitcoin miners because of its abundant access to hydropower sources. Yet "confrontations" between staffers and would-be mine operators, as first reported by The Wenatchee World, has sparked a drive to add new cameras, install security panels and institute other actions. On Monday, Chelan County PUD director of corporate security Rich Hyatt briefed the district's commissioners during a meeting, attributing the moves to "belligerent behavior by impatient cryptocurrency miners" who are reacting poorly following a moratorium imposed on new bitcoin mines. Hyatt explained: "Some of the things we're doing internally, we've got a lot of business security measures, at [headquarters] we've [installed] a lot of security panels, we've increased the camera coverage. We've also designed and are going into the construction phase for a very small store front lobby that would give employees a lot more security without having personnel or customers being able to walk right into their work area. We're monitoring those areas." He also described new measures being taken to dissuade unauthorized bitcoin miners from setting up facilities, saying his office was making agreements with the chief of police, the county sheriff and the county prosecutor to investigate and potentially prosecute repeat offenders. "We ... have an agreement with those agencies that we could use [them] as the mechanism that when we prepare a case and gather the evidence and establish probable cause, we can take that case through their detectives and that can help the county for prosecution considerations," he said. The agency has also trained its personnel on how to deal with potentially hostile people by installing panic buttons for front-line staff and adding security officers able to spot "negative body language," he said. By Coindesk.com
Chelan PUD has requests from seven operators who are seeking from 5 to 100 megawatts each, staff reported. The total amount of power sought is more than double Chelan PUD's average local load of 180 to 200 average megawatts. PUD staff has fielded more than 75 inquiries about service since the price of bitcoin spiked late last year. The Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD), an important utility provider in Washington, has decided to increase its security measures due to confrontations with frustrated cryptocurrency miners in the region.. Crypto miners are always searching new ways to reduce costs and increase the profits of their mining activities.One of the main factors when setting up a mining rig is the cost of ... Chelan PUD is here for you everyday, and this week, we want to extend a special thank you to our customers. YOU put the public in PUD. It’s public power week, a time when 2,000 public power utilities in the nation celebrate what makes us special – you! WENATCHEE – Bitcoin penalties were approved this week by the Chelan County PUD on unpermitted bitcoin operations, effective immediately. The action comes as the utility continues to find unauthorized cryptocurrency mining, two to three a day on average. Chelan PUD has received so many requests for large amounts of power, presumably for Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency operations, the Chelan PUD released an outline Tuesday of how PUD staff plans to respond a reported seven requests for large amounts of power that if realized, would double the amount of PUD retail service.
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