A public utility in one of the U.S. hot spots for bitcoin mining is adopting new security measures in light of harassment suffered by some of its employees.
The steps are being taken by the Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) in Washington County – as previously reported, the area has attracted a number of bitcoin miners because of its abundant access to hydropower sources. Yet "confrontations" between staffers and would-be mine operators, as first reported by The Wenatchee World, have sparked a drive to add new cameras, install security panels and institute other actions.
He also described new measures being taken to dissuade unauthorized bitcoin miners from setting up facilities, saying his office was making agreements with the chief of police, the county sheriff and the county prosecutor to investigate and potentially prosecute repeat offenders.
"We ... have an agreement with those agencies that we could use [them] as the mechanism that when we prepare a case and gather the evidence and establish probable cause, we can take that case through their detectives and that can help the county for prosecution considerations," he said.
The agency has also trained its personnel on how to deal with potentially hostile people by installing panic buttons for front-line staff and adding security officers able to spot "negative body language," he said.
Security camera image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.