Hyperblock, the bitcoin cyber mining firm, does business worldwide through their facility in Bonner, Montana.

Site Manager Jason Vaughan called KGVO’s Talk Back show to defend his business on Monday morning after hearing County Commissioner Josh Slotnick use Hyperblock as an example of a business that utilizes an unusual amount electrical power.

Vaughan explained the work being done at Hyperblock.

“We’re a crypto currency mining facility,” said Vaughan. “We provide verifications of transactions on crypto currency networks which provides security for the networks, and in return, we are paid out with new bitcoin or whatever crypto currency we may be mining.”

Vaughan said Hyperblock is a worldwide business.

“We cover the globe,” he said. “We’re providing a service for tens of millions of users across the entire world. Some people think we’re small because we’re in Bonner, Montana and we’re not providing much service, but it’s kind of like Google that has huge data centers, but they’re also providing a world wide service.”

Vaughan defended his company’s use of energy, and the efforts they’ve made to do so responsibly.

“You have to look at it on a global scale,” he said. “It is a high energy usage company, but we pay for all of our power. We have been buying hydroelectric power since the very beginning. We had the opportunity to buy from Colstrip, but we went the correct route, totally believing that global warming could be an issue and we wanted to be sensitive to that. Their idea of excessive energy usage is because they don’t necessarily believe in the product that we produce or the service that we provide, and I don’t think they see us as providing a worldwide service, so if you look at the amount of energy we use compared to the amount of service we provide on a global scale, it brings it into a more understandable scale.”

Vaughan said he feels that the county government is changing the rules as the company considers expansion.
“We are already obligated to purchase power into the future and the way that they’re saying it is that even though we’re already buying renewable energy, they’re now saying we need to create new renewable energy,” he said. “You would think they’d be glad we’re doing it the right way. We’re buying green hydroelectric power, we recycle all our e-waste locally at Pacific Steel which is a DEQ licensed electronics recycler, and we had a noise issue that the community was concerned about that we took care of.”

Vaughan explains the frustration with Missoula County.

“We have been doing everything we can to be good neighbors, so it’s frustrating that we’ and specifically our industry is being targeted. They’ve declared this ‘emergency’ and given themselves 10 or 11 years to solve,” he said. “We’re already buying the correct power, but now they’re saying ‘Now, you’ve got to do better than that and they’re not targeting all industries.”

Vaughan said the sheer number of negative news media articles is overwhelming, and unfair.

“If you look at all the local news media coverage, it’s all negative and people need to do a little more due diligence and dig into the facts to make up their own minds rather than depending on the small amounts of negative information they’re reading.”

KGVO has attached the Hyperblock website to this story to provide more information to our readers and listeners.

More From Newstalk KGVO 1290 AM & 98.3 FM