• Plan C Crypto, a California crypto mining firm, recently picked Fayetteville, North Carolina for its East Coast headquarters
  • “In the mining world, the turnaround that happens in communities when a large mining farm is deployed there can change lives,” Mason Jappa, CEO of Blockware Solutions, told Blockworks

Crypto mining firms have set their sights on small US communities for opportunistic, new bitcoin mining facilities in the face of rising competition.

Larger crypto mining companies, including Plan C Crypto and PerceptForm, are ditching the big city for overlooked, smaller cities and towns to revitalize abandoned real estate and create higher paying jobs. 

Empty buildings in towns far away from major cities provide cheaper real estate, in addition to the opportunity to build on local, more affordable power grids, Plan C Crypto CEO Antonio Bestard told Blockworks. 

“If everyone is going to Austin or Miami, we want to build elsewhere,” Christopher Perceptions, CEO of PerceptForm, said to Blockworks. “There’s 50 states, so we want to go where others aren’t.”

The company provides crypto and blockchain products, including PerceptMine, a social bitcoin mining operation that tokenizes and shares portions of revenue derived from a facility’s profits.

PerceptForm is finalizing mining facilities in North Carolina, Wyoming and Wisconsin, then plans to carve out a footprint in 20 to 30 more cities.

“Those three markets are going to be huge,” Perceptions said. “If we can build there, we can go anywhere. It’s going to provide opportunities for education, jobs and create financial incentives, as well.”

Plan C Crypto, the California crypto data miner, said its choice of Fayetteville, North Carolina as its regional headquarters will give new life to an old factory that’s been abandoned for 20 years. The city is home to over 200,000 people, plus Fort Bragg, the largest army base in the state.

“In Fayetteville, the regional headquarters will pull veterans out of Fort Bragg and train them to be plant technicians, and eventually plant managers, straight out of the army,” Bestard said.

“If a soldier can fix something in the middle of a battlefield, they can fix something at a crypto mining facility.”

The company focuses on serving the public power grid by allowing public utilities to buy more renewable energy through its demand response programs. The Fayetteville site will be their fourth in the state. 

“We’re moving into the community silently, and going to bring them jobs, without disrupting the area,” Bestard said. “We are committed to being a non-noisy neighbor by implementing immersion mining and removing the loud fans.”

Bestard said the company is planning to create more than 200 jobs with salaries ranging from $60,000 to $100,000 per year — eclipsing Fayetteville’s average annual salary of  $53,627, according to ZipRecruiter data

“In the mining world, the turnaround that happens in communities when a large mining farm is deployed there can change lives,” Mason Jappa, CEO of Blockware Solutions, told Blockworks. “By deploying in rural areas hit by an opioid crisis, decimated economies or low morale, a mining entity can come in and offer healthcare, retirement plans and [the] opportunity to turn a town around.” 

In the past, Plan C has created facilities in El Centro, California and Tarboro, North Carolina. Similar to the Fayetteville location, the demonstration facility in El Centro took over a building that was empty for seven years, he added. In April, it plans to expand into other North Carolina towns, such as Wilson and Boone.

“There’s so much dead real estate. What are we doing running away, when we should go toward there?” Bestard said. “We used the dead real estate and gave it life, which changes the community and everything that happens around it.”

Over the past 12 months, crypto miners have begun ramping up production in the US after Beijing cracked down on China’s mining industry in 2021. It resulted in a portion of miners moving to North America, with some of the largest companies like Marathon Digital and Hut 8 Mining building up their bitcoin reserves.

The demand has continued into 2022, but cryptocurrency miners might be diversifying their revenue streams and business models, according to a Compass Point Research and Trading report

“The crypto mining industry needs to start touting how many jobs we are bringing and how we add to the grid,” Bestard said. “We need to show them how and why we’re adding to the community.”

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  • Jacquelyn Melinek is a New York-based reporter covering funding, decentralized finance (DeFi) and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). She previously reported on energy markets for S&P Global Platts and Bloomberg News and is published in over 65 news outlets. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Media and Journalism. Contact Jacquelyn via email at [email protected]