Winemakers in upstate New York are not happy that they’re having to share land with bitcoin and cryptocurrency miners.

New York Is Seeing Its Winemakers at Odds with Crypto Miners

The state of New York features what are known as the Finger Lakes, a series of thin bodies of water in its upstate region. This area has become popular amongst winemakers given the clean air and wholesomeness of the dirt. The Finger Lakes is fantastic for those looking to grow grapes and create delicious beverages for wine connoisseurs, but they’re now having a lot of new neighbors come into the region… Neighbors that mine crypto, and they’re not pleased about what they’re doing to the area.

Rick Rainey is one such winemaker. He commented in a recent interview that he’s currently at odds with a company called Greenidge Generation Holdings, which has apparently been using a lot of energy and water resources in upstate New York to mine digital assets. He stated that the firm uses millions of gallons of water each day to power its steam turbines:

I’m out here spreading the Finger Lakes love… You come to the winery, you sit down, and I hand you a glass. It’s tangible. It’s very there. The bitcoin thing, it’s millions of gallons of warm water being dumped back into the lake every day and we all go, ‘For what, again?’

The arguments for and against crypto mining have been raging for years. While there are several industry heads out there claiming that the space doesn’t use nearly as much energy as people think, there are a number of environmentalists that remain unconvinced, and they have the support of individuals like Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX fame.

Last year, Musk shocked the world when he announced that he would permit crypto fans to purchase electric vehicles with the world’s number one digital currency by market cap. The South African billionaire and entrepreneur was labeled a true bitcoin lover in every sense, though this idea was quickly ended when just a few weeks later, Musk announced that he was rescinding the decision given that he was concerned about the kind of environmental damage bitcoin mining was doing to the world.

In addition, Kevin O’Leary of “Shark Tank” fame also stated that he would no longer be buying any more crypto mined in China, as that the nation was not known for utilizing environmentally friendly extraction methods.

Yvonne Taylor – vice-president of Seneca Lake Guardian, a company that’s opposed to Greenidge’s New York mining operation – says:

They’re going to be emitting over a million tons of CO2 equivalents into the atmosphere every year, in addition to harmful particulate matter.

We’re Not Guilty!

Greenidge is denying it’s doing anything wrong, claiming in a statement:

We fully adhere to our existing air and water permits and will continue to do so.

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