Massena to negotiate with cryptocurrency miners who want to build on Horton Road, possibly hire 500
Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 9:17 pm

Above, Blockchain Industries construction manager Pierre Bouthier gestures to a diagram of their proposed cryptocurrency mining facility that they want to put on Horton Road. North Country Now photo by Andy Gardner.


MASSENA -- The Town Council on Wednesday voted to enter negotiations with a Blockchain Industries LLC to sell a lot of town land on Horton Road for a cryptocurrency mining facility that could hire 500 people.

Several representatives from the company approached the council at their meeting and said they were prepared to pay $225,000 for the lot, which is about 130 acres. It is on two sides of Horton Road, north of county Route 42 near the Grasse River.

Richard Malinowski, the company’s project manager, said they plan to hire 500 full-time equivalent positions over three to five years.

Some of them would run the cryptocurrency mining facility and others would work in a call center.

He said they are planning to have “in excess of $600 million to put into this facility in order to start getting dollar one.”Above, Blockchain Industries representatives including project manager Richard Malinowski, project accountant Thomas Kelly, construction manager Pierre Bouthier, John Mulhill and media representative Brian Ledoucie.

Thomas Kelley, the project’s accountant, said they would try to hire cryptocurrency miners locally but “where those people will come from, I think the market will determine.”

He said they hope their payroll will be $11 million dollars or so annually to start.

They are seeking tax breaks from all levels and electricity subsidies from the New York Power Authority.

Block Chain representatives mentioned tax breaks several times during their nearly hourlong presentation.

Malinowski said they are seeking “five to 10 year tax incentives and abatements,” as well as sales tax deals, government grants and training credits, since they will do on-site training for employees.

“Cooperative regulatory agencies … cooperative township planners are going to be key to getting this thing done,” he said.

They are also hopeful for a NYPA deal on the power they need to run their plant.

“There is a long-term power requirement, a very large power requirement, 200 megawatts,” Malinowski said.

Town Supervisor Steve O’Shaughnessy said the town is behind the company’s efforts.

“I saw in a couple of your Powerpoints you are trying to get cooperation … you will have all the support you need from the Town of Massena. We need jobs, good-paying jobs … and we will welcome anything you can bring in,” he said.

“We have rules and regulations we have to follow, as far as purchase properties and the Planning Board. I would urge you to seek out other office holders.”