The Rise of Texas as a Bitcoin Mining Hub

Cheap energy, grid incentives, and shared ideals have attracted miners to the state since China stopped mining in 2021. One miner argues, “Bitcoin is all about freedom.” “And in my dealings with utilities and regulators, Texas is all about freedom.”

Imagine ducks to understand why bitcoin miners are flocking to Texas. Or, more correctly, the “duck curve,” which graphs daily energy demand and supply.

Imagine a graph with society's net energy demands on the Y-axis and 24 hours on the X-axis. “The shape of that line graph over time, it looks like a duck,” says Texas Blockchain Chamber President Lee Bratcher.

The graph starts flat (like a duck's tail), dips in the morning (belly), and rises again in the evening. The energy supply-demand balance fluctuates throughout the day. We utilize more power at 5pm than 2am. More solar electricity is accessible around 9am than midnight. “One kilowatt hour of electricity generated overnight is not the same as one generated in the morning,” explains Bratcher.

Texas acknowledges this disparity. Texas' power infrastructure allows energy prices “float” throughout the day and state, mirroring the duck curve, unlike other states. West Texas' plains, with plenty of wind and solar electricity but few residences or offices, cost less than Houston's energy. This seems straightforward, yet most electricity networks in the country control and maintain prices.

Bitcoin miners benefit from the duck curve and inexpensive renewable energy in Texas. They can cut their energy usage or sell extra electricity when grid supply is low. The “Electric Reliability Council of Texas,” or “ERCOT,” grants credits to firms who validate bitcoin transactions to supplement their earnings.

Bitcoin miners are unique in being geographically agnostic, explains Bratcher. Their run times are adjustable. Flexible power consumption.” Miners are encouraged to settle where power is cheap and land and space are ample. They can mine at night and relax in the afternoon. “Wasted power is cheap power,” explains Bratcher. “Sometimes wasted power is free

Bitcoin mining businesses including Core Scientific, Genesis Digital Assets, Riot, and Marathon Digital have moved to ERCOT because of this. China prohibited mining in 2021, starting the gold rush, which has eased but remained constant. The mining industry in Texas is growing. Core Scientific President Adam Sullivan says there's daily investment in Texas, where the company employs 70 full-time workers, including its headquarters.

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