Bitcoin miners shut off rigs as Texas power grid nears brink

Nearly all Texas industrial bitcoin miners have turned off their machines, as companies prepare for a heat wave which is expected to cause the state’s power grid to collapse.

Riot Blockchain, Argo Blockchain, and Core Scientific are just a few of the many crypto-mining miners who use millions of energy-intensive computers in order to secure bitcoin blockchain networks and earn token rewards. The Lone Star State’s low energy costs and liberal regulation on crypto mining attracted them to it. It has grown to be the largest crypto-mining center by computing power.

“There are more than 1,000 megawatts of Bitcoin mining load that has responded to ERCOTs conservation order by turning off their machines in order to conserve energy for grid. Lee Bratcher of the Texas Blockchain Association responded to Bloomberg via email. “This is nearly all the industrial-scale Bitcoin mining load in Texas, and allows for more than 1% of the total grid capacity to go back on the grid for commercial and retail use.”

The heat wave that keeps miners off their machines may cause a decline in profitability. This causes energy prices to soar and further stresses the state’s power grid. With bitcoin prices on the decline, miners already have difficulty repaying debt and raising capital. Public miners’ shares have fallen by 75% in the past year.

According to data from Texas’ Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Friday’s all-time energy peak record was 78,206 megawatts. This surpasses the July 5 unofficial all time peak of 77.460 megawatts. This operator is working with bitcoin miners who must turn off their machines when there are energy shortages.

Texas will likely face greater energy shortages in the near future. However, ERCOT anticipates that crypto miners will increase electricity demand by upto 6,000 megawatts mid-2023. This is more than enough to power all Houston homes.

Core Scientific CEO Mike Levitt stated that ‘Currently, all machines in Texas have been turned off to support the ERCOT grid. We have been reducing power in troubled times, including the current Texas heat wave, and we will continue to do so. He said that the company has six offices and less than 15% of its Texas production.

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