If you’re in Washington’s Chelan County, you might want to think twice about attempting to mine bitcoin off the radar. At their latest meeting, the county’s public utility district (PUD) moved to enforce a moratorium that was placed on new mining applications last month and take whatever steps necessary — including fees and criminal charges — against what officials characterized as “scoundrels” running “unauthorized cryptocurrency operations,” according to a notice. Chief among their concerns is protection both for the community and the power equipment, but they’re also worried about supply.
The moratorium was originally placed on new applications to give the agency time to review rates amid the massive power consumption associated with bitcoin mining facilities. Now the county is threatening fees, penalties, cutting off power and reporting unauthorized activity to the police for people who break the rules. They’re also considering installing automated power consumption meters so that they can uncover secret operations faster.