Cryptocurrency Mining Facility is the Buzz of the Town in DeWitt

by Kaley Jo Baker

Editor’s note: the photos included with this article are that of a facility in Greenbrier, Arkansas. They are not a direct representation of what is expected to be built in DeWitt.

A “Data Center” or better known as a Cryptocurrency Mining Facility is the buzz of the town in South Arkansas County. A quick meeting with the owner of the land, who is willing to provide the company with a long-term lease and the prospected builder led to a semi-heated discussion on Tuesday, September 19th with community members and leaders of DeWitt and Arkansas County.

Locals around the area within so many miles of the land that the mine is to be built on received a notice in the mail from a Law Office some weeks ago explaining the situation and the location of the build.

The biggest concern with the build of this facility is the noise, the power grid, the water supply, and the effect it will have on the wildlife in the area. Upon visiting other builds of the same types of facilities, many community members have concerning questions regarding the build. Some say the sound is like that of a jet engine. According to the builder, it is a facility that will house some 3,000 computers to run the facility. Though there is a sound ordinance for Arkansas County set at 65 decibels, some of the other facilities in Arkansas have sounds much higher.

Arkansas County is known for its hunting. Will ducks and geese still migrate to this area with the sounds and vibrations from the numerous fans that are running to cool the 3,000 computers? We won’t know until the facility is up and running, but with a huge part of the income that comes to local business owners from the hunting industry, many are a uneasy that this could become detrimental to the town of DeWitt and surrounding areas for the industry.

According to a discussion at the previous meeting, the build must be located near a substation, due to the substantial amount of power it pulls. Many asked the question “Well what happens when we have blackouts due to this facility?” and the only answer that was given was that the facility will be shut down if a blackout is on the verge of occurring. Upon the many studies and articles online, that hasn’t been the case in many other locations where these same types of facilities are currently located.

Multiple locals in Arkansas County have turned down thousands of dollars in jobs to help build the facility, but there are still a few taking on the task. Community members have a Facebook page called “SAY NO TO CYPTO IN ARCO” where locals can go to read information and ask questions.

Many asked County Judge, Eddie Best how the community could stop this, and his response was he can do all he can to stop it, but he has a boss as well and upon his declining of it, it will go higher up and most likely will pass.

The process of a bitcoin mining facility is the process by which new bitcoins are entered into circulation. The first computer to solve the solution to the problem receives the next block of bitcoins and the process will then begin again. Cryptocurrency mining can be very costly and only occasionally rewarding, but the miners become interested in this simply because the miners receive “rewards” for their work with crypto tokens.

A meeting will be held at the Arkansas County Courthouse on Tuesday, October 10th, 2023 at the regularly scheduled Quorum Court Meeting at 9:30 a.m. Locals are encouraged to attend.