Crypto mining, controversy, and questions about environmental impacts

For decades, the Mechanicville hydroelectric plant generated power from New York’s Hudson River, converting the flowing waters into energy that fueled General Electric. But last year, the long brick building became the home of a crypto mining operation, forging a very different role as part of a vast network of sites around the world pumping out algorithms that make virtual currency viable.

Opened in 1898, the antiquated hydroelectric plant was an unlikely candidate to combine with the modern technology that is the cryptocurrency industry. And after less than a year in operation, the crypto mining work there has been halted amid turmoil and controversy roiling the cryptocurrency market and higher prices for electricity.