Mining cryptocurrencies is no easy feat and does require a lot of infrastructure, resources, complex calculations- and noise.
The cryptocurrency mining process involves computers that run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year, continuously, without a break.
With the lucrative business option that crypto mining brings comes the cost of a constant whiny drill-like sound that goes on forever. This constant noise has been an area of concern for the public, who end up becoming neighbors of these crypto mining plants.
Crypto Mining: A Lucrative Business or a Noise Factory?
A recent report by the Washington Post shed some light on the ongoing crypto mining operations in Murphy, North Carolina, United States.
The report by the Washington Post throws light on how the crypto mining facilities sound like a “jet-like roar” rumbling through the Poor House Mountain locality of the area. The sound arises from a crypto mining facility operated by the San-Fransico-based firm PrimeBlock.
“When it’s at its worst, it’s like sitting on the tarmac with a jet engine in front of you. But the jet never leaves. The jet never takes off. It’s just annoying. It’s just constant annoyance,” said one of the residents who lived in proximity to the crypto mining shed in the area.
What’s The Story Behind it?
The recent surge in the number of crypto mining operations in the United States is due to a crackdown by the Chinese government on crypto mining operations. After China banned crypto mining in the country, many cryptocurrency companies moved their bases from the country to the United States and Canada even.
This was also further expedited by independent miners setting up their operations in the United States’ sparsely populated areas, enjoying the availability of cheap labor and plentiful power. Rural areas of the United States act as the perfect area with little to no zoning regulations and inexpensive land.
But this shift to the United States brought with it quite some noise. The noise made by the hardware required to run this mining setup is a lot due to a powerful GPU and an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for setting up a mining rig.
These powerful computers are cooled by big fans and cooling units, which are required to dissipate the warmth and help systems run at an optimal temperature to avoid thermal throttling leading to the entire operation collapsing down. While some facilities use direct air-cooling systems, others use evaporative cooling or immersion cooling systems.
Petitions & Complains By the Public
The rise in crypto mining operations across the United States has led many counties to file complaints and petitions to stop it from happening at all.
While noise pollution is rarely mentioned around the world, there is a petition by the residents of Cherokee County, North Carolina, doing the rounds of the internet. The community mentions in the Change.org petition how the recently set up cryptocurrency mining operation is a “24×7 deafening noise”.
Many residents of rural United States have mentioned how the constant humming by the crypto mining facilities has disturbed the tranquillity of the area and made it almost impossible to hear any natural sound around.
Is Crypto Mining Completely At Fault?
While there are concerns about crypto mining being the primary culprit in the scenario, there is also another spectrum.
Crypto mining farms aren’t the only place that requires large computation powers and makes noise. Noise pollution is also an issue for traditional data centers. Similar to crypto mining centers, noise above 90 dB or higher is a common occurrence at traditional data centers too.
Data centers use almost similar techniques to suppress the noise made by the hardware they use and the cooling technology to keep the hardware within permissible limits.
Is There a Solution to the Crypto Mining Noise?
The constantly rising complaints about bitcoin mining are a solution that can be resolved easily. All one needs to do is look into the technology that one wants to deploy to do so.
One of the easiest and most obvious solutions to the crypto mining noise is setting up plants in remote locations as possible. Bitfarms, after hearing about noise complaints from some of the neighbors, decided to relocate a few of its crypto mining plants to a more remote location.
Moreover, the company even planned to install sound monitoring equipment that makes real-time adjustments to the real-time sound emitted from the field.
Others have gone for a rather unconventional method by installing hay bales around the crypto mining sites to shield the nearby residences from the noise.
Crypto mining is no doubt an issue facing the firms involved in it. However, as the firms buckle up to tackle it, we can expect things to lighten down a little.
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