A legal struggle between Arkansas County and a newly built crypto mine is taking place after county officials tightened noise restrictions and nearby locals voiced concerns over a potential threat to national security.
The dispute began when Digital Jones LLC opened a crypto mine near the town of Dewitt, sparking a backlash from local residents. As reported by ABC, local concerns ranged from environmental threats, energy usage, and worries about the mine’s international owners posing a national security threat.
A petition to stop crypto mining in Dewitt reads, “Communities are greatly concerned about another unwelcome communist Chinese crypto mining site that could pop up in Dewitt.”
One member of the Committee to Protect Arkansas County described the crypto mine as “3,000 computers that’s going to suck our resources, that’s going to damage our community.”
An Arkansas County judge said everybody was in the dark about the mine, adding, “We know that some of the permits that they should have got, they didn’t, and so it just kind of looks suspicious.”
Last week, officials from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality carried out an inspection of the mine and found the site “to be out of compliance with existing regulation” and determined that “the full letter of the law needs to be enforced with maximum penalties.”
Arkansas County wants crypto mine laws tweaked
In response to concerns from locals, an Arkansas quorum court tightened noise ordinance laws in October. Then, on November 1, the owners of the crypto mine filed a lawsuit against the county while also filing for a temporary restraining order.
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This week, the Arkansas Country quorum court hit back by requesting a session that will scrutinize a piece of legislation that restricts the county’s ability to regulate crypto mines. The court also requested other counties across Arkansas to join it in a resolution request.
The next court hearing will take place tomorrow.