It seems that the state of Texas in the United States is gaining momentum in mining cryptocurrencies, and in particular – Bitcoin. The grid operator, ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) reports that the crypto industry has used up to 1000MW of electricity since the beginning of the year alone. If the growth in popularity of cryptocurrency mining continues at the same level as now, at least 5000MW more must be supplied to Texas by 2023, a whopping 5 times more! What led to this situation and why Texas?
As we all remember, since the beginning of 2021, China has steadily increased restrictions on cryptocurrencies, and as a consequence – eliminated them completely. This has already happened with the mining of Bitcoin (BTC), among others, which has been completely banned. China has so far been known for mining the largest amount of tokens, however, with the complete ban on crypto mining, this business has stopped completely. Miners had to move somewhere where cryptocurrency mining is not banned and where electricity is cheap. Their choice just happened to be Texas.
The state offers 10-year tax breaks, sales tax credits, and state-sponsored employee training for cryptocurrency miners, which consistently continues to attract even more miners. Sound like a paradise? It definitely does; however, this paradise also has its dark side.
As we’ve already mentioned, the surge of BTC miners in Texas is both a “curse and a blessing.” On the one hand, it allows the state to make money and contributes to its development. However, the biggest cost of these changes is borne by ordinary residents. Because of the heavy load on the electric grid, they experience independent power outages. And while it wouldn’t sound so terrible if the electricity was out for only a few hours, some Texans have been without electricity for up to several days. It’s also worth noting that these outages occurred during last winter’s record low temperatures, leaving people without access to heat. The consequences of such decisions for some could even be fatal. However, so far – the government of Texas does not present any proposals to resolve this conflict of interest.