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Immersive New Post Project Reveals Extent of Crypto Mine Noise Pollution

The Washington Post today published an interactive project that examines the noise produced by “crypto mining,” the process by which powerful computers perform the complex calculations needed to create or “mine” digital currencies.

It’s midnight and a jet roar rumbles over the slopes of Poor House Mountain. Except there are no planes overhead and the nearest commercial airport is 80 miles away. The sound comes from a cluster of shacks at the foot of the mountain housing a cryptocurrency data center.

“It’s like living at the top of Niagara Falls,” says Mike Lugiewicz, whose home is less than 100 meters from the mine.


Using environmental sensors connected via the AT&T network, The Post collected decibel data at a crypto mine in Murphy, North Carolina, to measure the impact of sound from that mine on the surroundings and people. nearby residents.

According to Erika Allen, Head of Strategy and Audience Growth at The Post: “To fully understand the impact of this mine noise on rural communities, we needed to measure the frequency and decibel levels over a period of discrete time. We deployed a network of remote sensors that could collect and transmit noise data, allowing us to more fully illustrate the noise pollution produced by these mines.

The Washington Post Creative Group worked with AT&T and Post reporters to dig deeper into how AT&T-configured sensors supported the reporting process for this story. AT&T Business helped the Post get sensors that were easy to set up and move for different stories, and connected them to AT&T’s network for data collection and sharing for reporters. These sensors measure temperature, humidity, noise levels and concentrations of dozens of air pollutants, including potent greenhouse gases like methane and sulfur dioxide.

Explore the project here.

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