September 22, 2018

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Chelan County Introduces Security Measures after Mining Ban Sparks Agitation



The cryptocurrency world has been peaceful for the most part, with isolated cases of aggression observed only during instances of an exit-scam or downright fraud. However, in Washington State’s Chelan County, locals and cryptocurrency miners are in the midst of agitated clashes following a mining ban, causing local police to introduce advanced security measures.

Identifying All Parties: Miners vs. State Officials

According to a report by Govtech, the behavior germinates from two distinct crypto-groups, namely: illegal miners whose electricity connections have been disconnected and high-density electricity applicants.

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Speaking on the issue is Kimberlee Craig, a spokeswoman for Washington’s Public Utility District (PUD):

“PUD employees in the field and those in the office who are handling issues related to high-density load service have encountered an increasing number of upset customers and potential customers. In some cases people can get agitated and argumentative.”

Craig further adds that the situation is beyond the PUD’s scope to handle, hence the involvement of local police authorities in the matter:

“The volume of requests and the sense of urgency by applicants has changed the dynamics of the interaction by staff with the cryptocurrency customers.”

Although the PUD has various security measures in place, such as trained staff, the extra security would prevent any unfortunate violence.

As per Govtech, the list of measures to combat this issue include:

  • Discussion and inquiry of new services to be held at the town’s service building “secure lobby.” The lobby would be constructed soon.
  • Adding ballistic panels and more cameras to the headquarters lobby.
  • Providing more training on when to call PUD security staff for help.
  • Increasing visibility of uniformed security staff. Security staff are training to pay attention to negative body language to identify people who are agitated.
  • Assessing security at the Leavenworth and Chelan offices to determine what else may be needed. A trip to those offices is planned next week.
  • Creating the process for working with local law enforcement when power theft from illegal bitcoin operations is suspected.

Washington County’s Mining Moratorium

Previously on April 9, 2018, BTCManager reported on Chelan County’s blanket ban on mining activities, which caused a massive overload on the town’s electricity grid alongside the risk of fire.

An emergency moratorium was declared by the town’s public utility district, to make time for introducing appropriate electricity plans and dealing with the newly created electricity demand.

Miners were warned about the possible repercussions, including power disconnection, and hefty fines up to $11,400 for non-compliance of imposed laws. In case a miner continued activities after breaching these two laws, they would be prosecuted for power theft.



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