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Plans for DeWitt Bitcoin Mine Taking Shape Amidst Foreign Ownership ConcernsLock Icon

2 min read

Arkansas Business reported last week on the public outcry against bitcoin mining operations in DeWitt, and how people around the state are wary of Chinese-owned enterprises.

Now Whispers can report details on the digital currency mine in development by Jones Digital LLC on an acre owned by Little Rock attorney Lyle D. Foster, who said he was unaware of any foreign ownership.

Documents on file with Arkansas County and the Arkansas secretary of state’s office show that Jones Digital is owned by Bono Management Inc., the company led by Yizheng Ethan Wang and Li Li, the same individuals listed as incorporator/organizer and director of a bitcoin mine near Greenbrier that has drawn complaints from its neighbors in Faulkner County.

Wang was also the point man on a plan for a bitcoin mine in Harrison that failed after passionate opposition from the public.

The secretary of state’s business filing shows that Bono Management is a “Foreign For Profit Corporation,” though “foreign” in this context means somewhere other than Arkansas. The foreign address in Los Angeles is in an apartment building.

Plans call for the DeWitt operation to be built at U.S. Highway 165N and Bartz Lane, and it will comprise 15 modified shipping containers. Attorney Stephen R. Giles of the Wright Lindsey & Jennings firm of Little Rock filed a site plan with Arkansas County Clerk Melissa Wood, according to a letter dated Sept. 22. A copy, the letter said, would be forwarded to Arkansas County Judge Thomas Best.

The filings included a “baseline sound study” for “Jones Digital LLC, DeWitt Data Center.” The sound study, by Clear Acoustic Designs of Conway, said the nearest residence is at 20 Bartz Lane, “approximately 350 feet to the northeast of the proposed facility’s eastern most property line and approximately 600 feet from the center of the proposed facility.” Christian Lenderman of Clear Acoustic Design conducted sound surveys in August, the filing said, measuring decibel levels at the site, including background sounds from traffic on the highway, “soybean irrigation, insects and birds.”

The noise study found that sound levels at the data center’s property boundaries averaged from 62 to 77 decibels, but attributed much of the noise to traffic on the highway. It also suggested “noise barrier walls and using an absorptive material to replace the gravel fill” to achieve average levels of 55 decibels at the property boundaries.

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