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Appalachian residents claim they are being pushed out of their neighborhood after a crypto mine opens


The residents of a North Carolina An Appalachian town says they are being forced from their homes by a noisy cryptocurrency mine that has sparked petitions and protests.

The Murphy facility, one of two in Cherokee County, constantly emits a sound that local resident Mike Lugewicz describes as “a little plane that never leaves.” In September a mine was described as “more expensive than beef production”.

Sound meters run by Lugiewicz from his yard showed the continuous noise from the stacks of computer servers and cooling fans reaching 55 to 85 decibels.

“There’s a racetrack three miles right here,” Lugevich said. “You can hear the cars running. This is cool.’

“But at least they’re stopping,” added neighbor Judy Stines CNN. “And you can go to bed.”

Residents of an Appalachian North Carolina town say they are being forced from their homes by a noisy cryptocurrency mine that has sparked petitions and protests

Cryptocurrency bans from places like China have led those looking to harvest to seek out locations along the Appalachian Mountains, as power is relatively accessible and regulation is generally non-existent in those areas.

A company called PrimeBlock bought a dozen mines in North Carolina as well as Tennessee and Kentucky.

The San Francisco-based company has raised about $300 million in equity funding and is likely to go public soon.

Despite a largely Republican and libertarian base, the uproar has forced residents to demand that local government do something about it, with the Board of Commissioners recently asking state and federal officials to regulate crypto mining.

“I personally think if we can get a bill through the system, other (North Carolina) counties will join,” said Chairman Cal Stiles.

Chandler Song, PrimeBlock’s co-founder and chief innovation officer, said such regulation would be “unconstitutional to say the least” and said of the locales, “Oh boy, they wanted us so much a year ago.”

There were plans for representatives from PrimeBlock to speak at a Cherokee County Board meeting, but County Commission Chairman Dan Eichenbaum said they decided not to come because someone shot one of the service lines.

Local resident Mike Lugewicz (pictured left) described the noise as

Local resident Mike Lugewicz (pictured left) described the noise as “a little plane that never leaves”

Cryptocurrency bans from places like China have led those looking to harvest to look for locations along the Appalachian Mountains, as energy is relatively affordable and regulation is generally non-existent in those areas

Cryptocurrency bans from places like China have led those looking to harvest to look for locations along the Appalachian Mountains, as energy is relatively affordable and regulation is generally non-existent in those areas

Afterward, Song said he hasn’t heard any complaints from the county, but promised PrimeBlock would build soundproof walls and install water-based cooling systems that emit sound. The Washington Post reported.

They did, but only on both sides of the mine before construction stopped, which only angered the residents even more.

Both Song and co-founder Ryan Fang were named to Forbes’ 2017 list of young entrepreneurs who managed to raise over $10 million in project funding.

PrimeBlock reported nearly $25 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2021 and an estimated enterprise value of $1.25 billion.

Despite a largely Republican and libertarian base, the uproar has forced residents to demand that local government do something about it, with the Board of Commissioners (pictured) recently asking state and federal officials to regulate crypto mining

Despite a largely Republican and libertarian base, the uproar has forced residents to demand that local government do something about it, with the Board of Commissioners (pictured) recently asking state and federal officials to regulate crypto mining

Chandler Song, PrimeBlock's co-founder and chief innovation officer, said such regulation would be

Chandler Song, PrimeBlock’s co-founder and chief innovation officer, said such regulation would be “unconstitutional to say the least” and said of locales, “Oh boy, they wanted us so much a year ago.”

Song has yet to respond to follow-up questions. DailyMail.com has contacted a PrimeBlock spokesperson for comment.

The mines, along with winter storms, have been blamed for the ongoing blackouts on the power grids built by the Tennessee Valley Authority, a rare occurrence in the program’s New Deal-era history. The mine has never been closed.

“They close us on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day every hour for 15 to 45 minutes to an hour,” resident Ron Wright said. “Well, once your power goes out, your heat pumps shut down and your pipes freeze.”

Lugiewicz and Stines are still feuding, but Lugiewicz has put up a for sale sign on his home.

“I think in September 2021 they turned it on and me and my wife just shook our heads and said, ‘No, we’re out of here.’

Despite promises that PrimeBlock would build soundproofing walls and install water-based cooling systems that emit sound, they only built them on both sides of the mine before construction stopped, which only angered the residents

Despite promises that PrimeBlock would build soundproofing walls and install water-based cooling systems that emit sound, they only built them on both sides of the mine before construction stopped, which only angered the residents

The mines, along with winter storms, have been blamed for the ongoing blackouts on the power grids built by the Tennessee Valley Authority, a rare occurrence in the program's New Deal-era history.  The mine has never been closed

The mines, along with winter storms, have been blamed for the ongoing blackouts on the power grids built by the Tennessee Valley Authority, a rare occurrence in the program’s New Deal-era history. The mine has never been closed

Murphy’s facility made waves across the road in neighboring Clay County, which enacted a ban on commercial crypto mining last August.

“In terms of environmental impact, the board found that cryptocurrency mining contributes to climate change, noise pollution, environmental devastation, massive amounts of energy used, including but not limited to electrical energy,” the ordinance states.

County Commissioner Clay Logan told the Progress in Clay County it was “just common sense.”

Both Change.org and on Sierra Club have launched petitions against the mines.


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