Texas Bitcoin Miners Power Down as State Grid Struggles with Summer Heat

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Crypto mining takes a lot of energy to run, which is something the state of Texas doesn’t have a lot of right now. The state’s power grid operator has asked for businesses to conserve energy as the heat is pushing the limits on how much power is available. 

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT) asked Texans on Monday to reduce their power consumption to avoid rolling blackouts across the state. Crypto mining companies that operate in Texas followed suit, even though it means a loss of profits according to Bloomberg

ERCOT says there are no requirements for mining companies to conserve energy, but it hopes businesses will heed its request. 

Mining for cryptocurrency is an energy-intensive operation. Companies have warehouses filled with computers, also referred to as mining rigs, running non-stop in order to complete complicated calculations required for transactions. A rig that completes the computation for the bitcoin blockchain, for example, can receive 6.2 bitcoins, or about $123,000 at current prices

“Currently, 100% of the machines located in Texas have been powered off to provide support for the ERCOT grid,” Core Scientific CEO Mike Levitt told Bloomberg.

ERCOT expects Texas crypto mining companies to require 6 gigawatts of power by mid-2023. That’s enough energy to power the entire city of Houston. 

Bitcoin prices, as well as other cryptocurrencies, have been on the decline for most of 2022. Last November, one bitcoin was worth more than $67,000, but its valued drop significantly, reaching below $18,000 last month. A combination of the downturn of the global economy along with record inflation caused crypto holders to sell off their digital coins, causing the values to drop. US regulators and legislators are also putting their foot down on certain cryptocurrency practices, while states are looking to stop or reduce crypto mining