Brienza’s operation is a drain on Plattsburgh’s cheap energy. But it’s dwarfed by Coinmint, a Puerto Rico-based operation, which first set up shop around the corner from Brienza, and then in this strip mall. No signs. Just open doors and immense fans to vent the heat.
Thousands of machines inside suck up about 10 percent of the whole city’s electricity. Worldwide, the energy footprint of Bitcoin alone is expected to double by year’s end, devouring an incredible half-a-percent or more of the world’s electricity, as much as all of Austria.
The potential impact on global warming is obviously profound. But the allure to miners of cheap energy outposts like Iceland, Washington state, and small, unassuming Plattsburgh is understandable.