NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — There are three cryptocurrency facilities now operational in Niagara Falls, and 7 News took an exclusive look into one of them - Blockfusion, which mines Bitcoin.
"Our company has more than 10,000 miners and more the 50 MW of clean power that is constantly running to mine cryptocurrency," said Alex Martini, the Chief Executive Officer of Blockfusion.
The New York-based company made its way to Western New York for one reason - Niagara Falls.
"We came to Niagara Falls to harness the power of the falls. It is one of the most powerful natural landmarks when it comes to hydro power ... and our company, different from all the rest uses as much renewable energy as possible. We're at about 90% at this point," said Martini.
Blockfusion tells 7 News they want to embrace Western New York and shape the company with our community.
"We are here to work with Western New York, bring in jobs, industry, capital, and immerse ourselves in your community," said Martini.
The company has already hired about 60+ Western New Yorkers, and is actively looking for more talent, specifically graduating college students.
"Blockfusion will become Western New York. Let's work together," said Martini.
However, citizens have raised concerns about the volatility of cryptocurrency mining facilities.
The Niagara Falls City Council tells 7 News that at least 20 complaints have been filed against the extreme noise the facilities make - specifically the U.S. Bitcoin facility found on Buffalo Ave. in Niagara Falls.
"We don't believe those accusations apply to us, as we are not in a residential area ... we will continue to work with local government and local ordinances," said Martini.
Due to the noise issue, Niagara Falls Mayor Rob Restaino issued a 180-day moratorium on new cryptocurrency development and facilities in the Falls.
In a statement to 7 News, the Mayor said:
"Upon recommendation of my Administration, the City Council passed a 180 day moratorium on the consideration and/or issuance of all permits and/or approvals relative to commercial data centers which includes cryptocurrency mining. While welcoming new businesses into our community it is important that we balance that with the best interests of our City residents. The moratorium is providing the City an opportunity to develop a detailed plan as to location and requirements for commercial data centers/data mining which will ultimately become a part of the City's Zoning Ordinance.
The moratorium remains in effect until June 15, 2022."