VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The owner of the bitcoin plant on Greenwich Road in Virginia Beach is now in Chapter 7 liquidation.
10 On Your Side’s been covering the company for more than a year, since neighbors reached out about the noise coming from the facility.
That noise for now will be silenced, but that also means people are out of a job. Though it’s unclear how many jobs are affected.
Court proceedings played out in a Chicago federal bankruptcy courtroom, with the court order from Judge Janet Baer converting the Bcause Mining LLC case from bankruptcy protection chapter 11 to complete liquidation chapter 7.
“What are you thinking? I’m thinking it’s nice,” says Point-o-View neighbor Tommy Byrns, who lives behind the old Hoffman Beverage Company (now Bcause) on Greenwich Road.
Byrns has been complaining about the plant for two years.
“It’s nice. I don’t hear anything except for traffic on I-264 when the wind is blowing right. I’m happy finally.”
Baer ordered Bcause to cease operations, layoff staff members and liquidate the property.
In practical terms, at least for now the operation is shut down. We went to the building and saw two employees inside.
Two employees were spotted inside the building on Wednesday.
One of the workers said, “Tom is not here you have to talk to [Bcause founder Tom Flake],” before closing a door and going into a conference room.
The noise for neighbors started with 16,000 small computers that record cryptocurrency transactions. Bcause is one of the largest companies of its type in the world.
The heat generated by the computers is sucked out of the warehouse through 90 industrial exhaust fans, which make the noise neighbors can’t stand.
It was loud on the roof back in August 2018 when Flake gave 10 On Your Side a tour of the facility.
When asked whether he understood concerns from neighbors, Flake responded,”Yes, I think it is a reasonable expectation that people be able to enjoy their property.”
He had big plans to build a sound barrier wall, but that seemed like something Dominion Energy wouldn’t allow, since it is near one of Dominion’s facilities.
10 On Your Side contacted Flake, who is traveling in New Mexico, but he didn’t want to do an interview.
He did say on the phone that liquidation came after the U.S. trustee supporting the reorganization plan changed his mind, forcing Bcause into liquidation.
The Byrns don’t care about all that, they just care about silence from Bcause. “Relief is a big word. Elated is another word … it was disrupting our peace, and it was a nuisance, and now not,” Byrns said.
What happens next? We don’t really know.
Flake asked 10 On Your Side to check back with him on Monday. The Byrns just hope the silence continues.