“We feel like it’s a bait and switch.”
That’s Michael Cao, CEO of bitcoin mining firm ZoomHash, one of a number of bitcoin miners currently involved in a months-long dispute over power costs with a public utility provider in Chelan County, Washington.
Cao isn’t alone. Other bitcoin miners in the region say they were drawn by promises of cheap power, a circumstance that’s now subject to possible change.
Washington state is home to some of the cheapest power sources in the US, a circumstance that, in recent years, has drawn more than a few entrepreneurs hoping to establish profitable bitcoin mines. Given that bitcoin mines thrive on cheap electricity – some have compared the business model to a power arbitrage – it’s natural that some would gravitate to a region that boasts significant hydroelectric power capacity.
Counties like Chelan and neighboring Douglas and Grant Counties have attracted bitcoin miners as a result, though those areas are not currently considering any form of rate increase.
Yet the seemingly fertile ground in Chelan could change in the months ahead, as the public utility district (PUD) is currently weighing a rate increase that local