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Crypto-mining in Park Falls? What we’re learning about the operation and the industry.

Ben Meyer

A cryptocurrency mining operation is set up at the former Park Falls Paper Mill.

Earlier this year, four 40-foot containers filled with servers needed for mining were delivered to the mill.

According to a company called Future Data Technology’s website, its operation at the former mill came onboard as of February 20th.

It’s a Chinese company that says it has hosting centers in Wisconsin and Texas.

So, what is crypto-mining?

In its simplest terms, it’s the process computers go through to create virtual currency and give it value.

Brad Chandler is the Director of the Nicholas Center for Corporate Finance and Investment Banking at the Wisconsin School of Business.

Chandler couldn’t speak to the specific operation in Park Falls, but he is knowledgeable about the world of cryptocurrency.

He says the site is appealing for this business for a couple reasons.

Mining operations need a power source and a cooler environment so that the servers don’t overheat.

“There’s a sense that in this area there’s good electricity costs, at least relative to some other areas they’re looking at, and potentially the idea of a cooler environment to keep them cool,” said Chandler.

WXPR has reached out to the company to learn more about the operation at the mill.

We have not gotten a response.

We also talked to Chandler about the potential benefits and downsides to having one of these operations in a community.

You can listen to the extended interview here:

Extended interview with Brad Chandler

On February 18th, the City of Park Falls issued a press release in response to a number of social media posts about crypto-mining at the mill.

In the release, the City Administrator said the city has “not participated in any way, in regards to this specific proposal.”

It goes on to say that as long as any business that moves in there conforms to the City’s Zoning Code and Code of Ordinances the city can’t intervene in the operations.

The city also acknowledged “it does not believe this use is the best use of the property in terms of jobs for our area, however, that is a matter solely for the owner of the Mill to decide.”

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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