Town to welcome second crypto-mining facility

From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 4:24 PM CST
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WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (KAIT) - In a few months, one Lawrence County town will welcome its second data mining facility. But some are worried about the added noise.

Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp said the city’s first data mining facility was installed a few years back on Custom Road near the airport, which isn’t near many homes.

The second facility is currently being constructed on Midway Road on the south side of town, which is only hundreds of feet away from backyards.

The facilities are used to harvest cryptocurrency.

“You hear about Bitcoin and nonfungible tokens or whatever. They’re going to use algorithms off the electrical power grid to locate these,” Snapp explained.

He said some data-mining facilities are notorious for being loud, but with certain sound barrier installations, residents in the area may not even hear it running.

With the second facility nearing completion in a few months, the city said it would have to keep a close eye on the sound it produces.

“Prior to the power being turned on, they’ll have engineered sound barriers built around the facility that will guarantee 55 decibels at their property line,” Snapp explained.

Residents who live near the facility say they’re skeptical but optimistic.

“It’s supposed to bring jobs to people, and that will be good for the economy,” Shirley Parnell said. “There is so much construction going on around here. New houses are being built in front of where I live. I’m hoping it won’t be [loud].”

Work on the facility will continue over the next few months.