Plattsburgh Cryptocurrency Moratorium Questioned

Nov 27, 2018

At the most recent common council meeting, Plattsburgh officials were asked when the city’s cryptocurrency moratorium would end.

In March, Plattsburgh officials imposed an 18-month moratorium on new cryptocurrency operations in the city.  In October, the Common Council adopted a local law placing regulations on such operations – but did not end the moratorium.

Two cryptocurrency businesses were grandfathered and continue to operate. At October’s meeting, Zafra LLC CEO Ryan Brienza asked councilors to end the moratorium.  “We’re the local guys in town and it’s really hurt our business. We’ve just been trying to grow. Some of the biggest hedge funds in the country and stuff have contacted us and they wanted to locate here back before the moratorium but once this moratorium hit all the interest is gone now. So Plattsburgh’s really missed out on a big opportunity.”

Brienza returned to the council last week and asked councilors for an update. He told them without action he is stymied in moving forward with an invention.  “My company Zafra, we are looking to place an invention that we’ve created in Plattsburgh around the city which is a box which contains the  heat from these cryptomining machines and can disperse it into any building in the city. In return it would be free of charge to the city as well you would get free heat which would save the city money from cutting your electric bill and the heating bill in any of these buildings.  We have investors behind us and we’re ready to do this. We’re just kind of looking for this moratorium to be ended so we’re able to move forward. It’d benefit the taxpayers and the city and this would be a first in the world for this to be demonstrated.”

Brienza presented his company’s proposal to Mayor Colin Read and Councilor Rachelle Armstrong earlier in November.  Councilor Peter Ensel was curious about implementing the plan. “Is there a minimum kind of breakeven point as far as the number of units that you need to have in operation for this to be…”
Brienza:  “At the moment with the crypto-market being suppressed it’s definitely not as profitable as it was back in March. But there is still some interest and we have the miners behind it. We could literally deploy one of these within a week.”
Ensel:  “But I guess my question is as far as with the moratorium being lifted at this point this device is not profitable under the current operating structure?”
Brienza:  “Well at least from my knowledge is that the only way for us to deploy this is the moratorium needs to be lifted.”

City councilors did not answer whether they would consider ending the moratorium early.