Franklin Public Utility District commissioners approved a moratorium that will allow time for staff to review the effects of cryptocurrency mining and related blockchain operations that place large demands on the electric system.

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PASCO, Wash. (AP) — A customer-owned utilities company in Washington has stopped accepting applications for electricity use for cryptocurrency mining and related blockchain operations.

The Tri-City Herald reports Franklin Public Utility District commissioners approved a moratorium that will allow time for staff to review the effects of such high density loads that place large demands on the electric system.

Public Utility District staff also will research a proposed rate structure.

Cryptocurrency, such as bitcoins, is virtual money that exists only online, allowing purchases without using a bank and often anonymously.

They can be “mined” online using high-end computers to verify transactions. Blockchain is the digital ledger technology that tracks the currency and transactions.

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Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com