Bitcoin (BTC) mining growth in Texas concerns
This May, Chinese authorities banned mining cryptocurrencies, opening a miners’ “hunt season”. As a result, all miners had to leave the country in search of a better life. So, many of them turned to the US and set out to Texas. This state is known for the relatively cheap electricity necessary for this energy-intensive process.
Texas power grids fail
Initially, the influx of miners was considered an excellent opportunity for small towns in the middle of nowhere to attract attention. However, after a while, the tables turned. The power systems of small towns cannot cope with the increased energy consumption, alerting local authorities.
Meanwhile, miners continue to increase volumes, expanding their equipment and increasing capacity, worrying many Texas residents.
Michelle Michot Foss, a researcher from the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute, called cryptocurrency miners “energy hogs”, who do not care that their activities can cause system breakdowns. She also noted that the predictions of the growth of energy costs spurred by the increasing number of miners are inaccurate. Nobody took into account the “sensitivity of the system to break down”.
ERCOT to track miners
In connection with these events, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has started monitoring the growing pace of crypto mining and its possible impact on the power grid. According to their statements, miners are really quite capable of overloading it.
Many countries like Iran or Kazakhstan that do not have reliable energy systems face the same problems as Texas. Moreover, in some of these countries, mining was even suspended in order to stop the constant power outages in the country. For example, in Iran, mining was stopped for five months. Yet, in this country, most of the miners were mining crypto illegally anyway.
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The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.