Bitmain, the crypto mining giant from China, has been given approval at a public hearing to set up its blockchain facility Ant Creek in Walla Walla County, Washington. The terms agreed upon wasn’t exactly what the company wanted. The original deal involved the lease and sale of 40 acres of land in the Port of Walla Walla.
The deal was met with plenty of objections but commissioners have eventually agreed on a 10 acre land lease and sale to Ant Creek.
Commissioners defended their decision saying that a smaller scale still allows Ant Creek to establish itself but with lesser risk to the county. Ant Creek will be given the stage to prove if a venture in blockchain technology could thrive and offer economic benefits in the area.
Residents are not so pleased with the decision. They have argued that large amounts of power would be required to run the blockchain facility whose benefits may only affect a select few. One resident at the hearing went on to say:
“It extracts electricity and creates wealth for the owner with no trickle down.”
However, the CEO of Columbia Rural Electric Association (REA), Les Teel, has assured the public that they could fulfill the volume of power that the blockchain facility demand without having to put the residents at risk.
In the lease and sale deal, the lease will be running until the end of the year. After that, Ant Creek will be given the option to buy the land. The lease would cause Ant Creek around $4,700 monthly. Purchase of the land would cost it $150,000. An additional $2.5 million would also be needed for the construction of a roadway.
Ant Creek has not yet announced its decision on the offer.