In Niagara Falls, bitcoin mining brings a new roar to town

In Niagara Falls, bitcoin mining brings a new roar to town

He once could sit in his backyard and hear the roar of Niagara Falls more than 3.2km away. But now, “you can’t hear it at all” and you can’t avoid “the roar of bitcoin mining every day”.

Bryan Maacks, who lives closer to Buffalo Avenue, described a “haunting, vibrating hum” – a vexing throb that has run through his house day and night since last winter.

“It’s very mentally daunting. It’s like having a toothache for 24 hours a day every day,” Maacks, 65, said.

He said he wears headphones all the time and uses a fan to block out the noise to get to sleep.

Maacks launched a petition and made a “US Bitcoin Stop the Noise” sign on the back of his red pickup truck, which he parked for several weeks in front of the company.

“The noise pollution of this industry is like nothing else that has been there,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino in his office decorated with paintings of the famous waterfalls.

That’s quite a statement in a city that embraced heavy industry for decades.

Faced with a flood of complaints, mainly regarding US Bitcoin, the mayor decreed a moratorium on any new mining activity in December 2021, then in early September set strict noise limits of 40 to 50 decibels near residential areas.

A “NOISE BARRIER”

US Bitcoin said it’s taking steps to address the problem.

“Immediately upon these concerns being flagged, we erected a plastic barrier,” the company said in a statement to AFP.

“We also conducted acoustic studies and had plans drawn for a larger noise abatement wall” that was prevented from being built by the moratorium, the company said.

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