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Sherbrooke Residents Suffer as Bitfarms Continues to Expand in their City 

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Bitfarms, a popular cryptocurrency mining firm, continues its expansion process across the city of Sherbrooke, Quebec, to the dissatisfaction of residents. On November 20, local news medium CityNews reported that resents who live near the firm’s mining operation site lodged several complaints about the vibrations and sounds emanating from the factory. After extensive complaints, executives from Bitfarms addressed the public, claiming that they were working on erecting a 23-meter wall around the entire mining farm. However, even that hasn’t been enough to placate the angry resents. Seeing no way forward, Bitfarms is now continuing with its expansion nonetheless. 

“They say they are acting in good faith. […] And in the beginning, we believed them. But we no longer believe them. How can we? […] The noise destroys the environment, destroys people’s health because of the stress. […] We had peace and quiet, and we want peace and quiet to return,” Marcel Cyr, a resident living across the river from the facility, told the news medium, adding that the resents would like for the company to immediately cease its operations until it can come up with means to eradicate the problems.

In Search of Cheap Power

Currently, Bitfarms operates five separate mining operations across the province. It’s expansion is linked to the relatively cheap electricity in the area. The complaints have not evaded the attention of relevant authorities. As CityNews claims, Sherbrooke City councilor Marc Denault admitted that the City Council didn’t know about the social costs that would have arisen from the firm’s location there, and would not have allowed the firm to settle there if it did. h

However, the councilor tried to put all concerns at ease, as he said that the company had expressed its intentions to renovate its building and build a wall that will muffle the sounds coming from the plant.

“We expect significant improvement versus what the residents are allegedly complaining about today,” he assured citizens. 

Ground vibrations and disturbing sounds are just the latest in the line of social costs that come from crypto mining farms being located in a place. It’s becoming normal for residents and local government authorities to complain about the environmental impact of bitcoin mining. However, while those are imminently treatable, issues such as vibrations are much more complex

In August 2018, Norwegian news medium The Local reported that the government was mulling a shutdown of Kryptovault, a mining facility north of Oslo, after citizens complained about the noise its operations had generated. Per the news source, residents had lodged complaints that a Kryptovault effectively ruined their summers, thanks to noise generated by the plant’s massive cooling fans, which were working “24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

Despite several arid summer conditions, locals found themselves shutting their windows to keep the noise out. The frustrations eventually reached boiling point when a local reportedly sent the company a bomb threat if they didn’t fix things. 

“This is sabotage,” the threat read. “If you are expanding crypto mining and filling the country with noise, then you will be sabotaging the peace. I am threatening to send you some explosives.”

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