As Texas, USA becomes home to 20 percent of the world’s bitcoin mining operations, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) network operator predicted a fivefold increase in the state’s electricity consumption.
The bitcoin mining industry in Texas currently consumes between 500 and 1000 MW of electricity. According to Bloomberg, ERCOT expects this demand to grow fivefold by 2023 and plans an additional 3,000 to 5,000 MW.
It’s worth noting that Texas has emerged as a hub for Bitcoin mining after the Chinese government de-legalized all cryptocurrency-related activities, including trading and mining, earlier this year.
Texas is the only US state that has its own internal power grid. It is run by the non-profit organization ERCOT, which provides at least 90 percent of the state’s electricity.
Chinese authorities blame cryptocurrency miners for wasting energy, fatal coal mine accidents and potentially threatening the country’s efforts to cut carbon emissions.
Mining Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency requires powerful computers that compete in solving complex math problems in an electricity-intensive process.
In February 2021, temperatures dropped to below freezing, leaving more than 4.3 million people across the US state without electricity after high electricity demand caused the power grid to fail repeatedly. ERCOT has faced harsh criticism from state officials, including Gov. Greg Abbott, who said the body “has not been reliable at all for the past 48 hours.”
Meanwhile, El Salvador, the first country to use cryptocurrency as legal tender, is powering its bitcoin mining venture using geothermal volcanic energy.
In addition, cryptocurrency adoption in the US has peaked, with 23 percent of Americans investing in cryptocurrencies, according to a Finder poll.
In addition, residents of the beach town of Miami in the US can soon get MiamiCoin for free in their crypto wallets. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced on Twitter that the city will share a portion of the city’s cryptocurrency revenues with all of its citizens and will distribute payments through digital wallets.
Earlier this month, New York City’s newly-elected Mayor Eric Adams and Mayor of Miami Suarez announced they were receiving their bitcoin paychecks.