The Franklin PUD has stopped accepting applications for electricity use for cryptocurrency mining and related blockchain operations.
The moratorium, approved by the Public Utility District commissioners, will allow time for staff to review the effects of such high density loads that place large demands on the electric system.
PUD staff also will research a proposed rate structure.
Cryptocurrency, such as bitcoins, is virtual money that exists only online, allowing purchases without using a bank and often anonymously.
They can be “mined” online using high-end computers to verify transactions. Blockchain is the digital ledger technology that tracks the currency and transactions.
The Tri-Cities may be an attractive area for such operations because of the area’s historically low electricity rates compared to other parts of the nation.