Cryptocurrency firm touts jobs in the Falls, but critics worry about energy use | Local News

“We came here in 2019, knowing from the very beginning that we wanted to grow this business organically, not by being a net taker, but a net contributor to the community we were coming in,” Martini-Lo Manto said.

In cryptocurrency mining, a large array of supercomputers performs a long chain of complex calculations, needed to provide security for transactions in the digital currency.

The inventors of Bitcoin and another cryptocurrencies envisioned them as a store of value independent of currencies issued by governments, and as a means for people to make direct online payments without involving a bank or other third party.

Three North Tonawanda residents and the Sierra Club filed suit Monday, attempting to overturn the city Planning Commission’s approval of a bitcoin mining project.

Last month, Niagara Falls imposed a 180-day moratorium on approvals or permits for cryptocurrency businesses. At the time, Restaino said it allowed the city to shut down outdoor operations that hadn’t received site plan approval.

That affected U.S. Bitcoin, which for the past year has been data mining inside and in front of the old DuPont plant on Buffalo Avenue.

Bitcoin fans

Several giant fans were visible Dec. 7, 2021, above the fence along Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls at U.S. Bitcoin’s facility in the former DuPont plant.

Restaino said the city sent inspectors there and found code violations indoors and out.

The company’s co-founder and chief operating officer, Asher Genoot, said U.S. Bitcoin remains in operation, but he said he couldn’t fully disclose details. The cooling fans atop server stacks along the street still are spinning.