City Commission clears the way for crypto mining in Bismarck

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 4:35 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Bismarck City Commission has paved the way for a new industry to set up shop in Bismarck.

North Dakota has long been known for its coal mining. But soon, it might also be known for its crypto mining. This week, Bismarck City Commission allowed crypto mining facilities, also called data centers, to be constructed within city limits.

Bismarck residents enjoy the peace and quiet that the city offers.

“I think it’s quite peaceful, to be honest with you. I take a walk every once in a while. Enjoy the scenery, it’s a beautiful city by the way. We have everything that we need here. Water, trails all over, you can’t get any better than that,” said Donovan Schumacher of Bismarck.

And this week, the City Commission took action to keep it that way with new ordinances on data centers.

“We’re trying to get out ahead of these uses. We don’t have any in Bismarck right now, we’re just starting to hear about this and people are asking about it. Usually, we try to pass the ordinances first, rather than reacting after the fact when things are already there,” said Daniel Nairn, senior planner for the city of Bismarck.

The ordinance requires crypto mining facilities to be constructed in industrial zones so everyone can enjoy quiet places without noise pollution.

North Dakota is being targeted for crypto mining facilities because of our climate.

“Some of it is just our climate. They actually like the colder climate, it’s less cooling cost during the winter months. These computers generate a lot of heat, so they do need to be cooled,” said Nairn.

The new ordinances won’t impact people interested in mining crypto personally, they’ll only impact commercial mining facilities, should they arise.

There are no plans for a data center in Bismarck yet. But projects are either already operational or in the works in Grand Forks, Williston, and Jamestown.

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