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Former Alcoa Smelting Factory Turns To Crypto Mining In Upstate New York


Former Alcoa aluminum smelting facility has signed a deal with crypto-mining company Coinmint, to install one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency mining centers in Upstate New York.

From Melting to Minting

A former Upstate New York aluminum smelting facility is getting new and unexpected tenants. Aluminum refining and smelting company Alcoa has signed a 10-year lease, including options to renew, with cryptocurrency mining company Coinmint.

It is no secret that Bitcoin prices have been less than favorable as of late, especially comparing figures from November of last year, when Bitcoin reached an all-time high price of just under $20,000. Coinmint is unwavering, however, and said on Tuesday that they are moving full steam ahead with their plans to invest up to 700 million dollars into their new facility and that it could bring in upwards of 150 new jobs to the town of Massena and the surrounding area.

Worldwide competition in the cryptocurrency mining sector is stiff. Mining companies’ biggest costs come from the electricity needed to power and cool the hardware used in the mining process. A large cryptocurrency mining facility of this caliber in the United States is already at a disadvantage when compared to the low cost electricity produced in countries like China, where the majority of the world’s Bitcoin mining is done.

Coinmint remains confident in their plan, as stated by their CTO Prieur Leary:

As long as the bitcoin network exists we anticipate mining to be profitable. We’ve developed a process to get an edge in the market.

Coinmint has already signed an agreement with the New York Power Authority and the New York Independent Systems Operator, for access to 435 MW of clean hydroelectric power from the St. Lawrence River. The region’s cooler climate also gives Coinmint an incentive to build there.

Former Alcoa aluminum smelting facility has signed a deal with crypto-mining company Coinmint

Concerned Neighbors

The cryptocurrency mining buzz has left New York state residents and lawmakers with mixed feelings about the notion of local crypto-mining. In March 2018, the town of Plattsburgh, NY, which is only 80 miles east of Massena, issued an 18-month moratorium against crypto-mining operations in the town.

Cryptocurrency mining in Plattsburgh was heavily criticized by mayor Colin Read as being a large public nuisance that consumed more than ten percent of the town’s power, while under-utilizing the town’s workforce. Where Massena seems to be optimistic about the increase in potential jobs and revenue for the town, Plattsburgh is quick to dismiss that the town would benefit. Read stated:

The mining companies? They hire a security guard, and a guy who comes when something breaks.

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