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Why Texas Is on Cutting Edge of Crypto Mining

Texas has become a significant crypto-mining hub globally, mostly as a result of its fortunate combination of inexpensive electricity and a forgiving regulatory climate. A number of measures have recently been passed and have the potential to put the Lone Star state at the forefront of the development of crypto policy.

The crypto-mining process uses supercomputers to solve extremely difficult mathematical puzzles to validate cryptocurrency transactions. Incentives such as cryptocurrency are given to miners as compensation for their efforts in resolving these issues.

However, it is impossible to ignore how energy-intensive cryptocurrency mining is. According to 2021 research by The New York Times, mining a single Bitcoin uses the same amount of electricity as an average home over a nine-year period. As a result, miners must be careful with their electricity expenses and make wise placement decisions, which has many miners choosing Texas.

According to the Texas Blockchain Council, Texas already had 2 gigawatts (GW) of mining power dedicated to Bitcoin alone in 2022, not to mention mining for many other cryptos, and was aggressively luring an additional 2 GW of Bitcoin-mining capacity every year.

Moreover, a startling 33 GW of Bitcoin mining projects were in the interconnection queue by mid-2022, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). To put this into perspective, Houston, the fourth-largest city in the United States, uses less than 6 GW annually for all of its households.

Texas’s appeal to crypto miners is evident in the decisions of prominent companies. For instance, Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) is currently building the biggest Bitcoin mining facility, spanning more than 265 acres and hosting numerous Bitcoin mining computers, in Corsicana, Texas.

Many businesses find the state appealing due to its enormous land makeup, affordable electricity and abundant wind farms. In fact, Texas was the leader in the country for renewable energy in 2022, producing more than 2.5 times as much electricity from solar and wind as California, which came in second.

While some detractors have voiced worries about the energy requirements of cryptocurrency mining, particularly during Texas’ intense heat waves, supporters contend that miners actually contribute to the reliability of electric generation and can quickly halt mining to support the grid’s integrity.

Given Texas’ attraction as a top location for crypto mining, the state frequently finds itself at the forefront of addressing crypto-related issues and establishing trailblazing regulations. Texas has forged its own course in response to the federal government’s lack of specific directions.

For instance, the state introduced House Bill 1666, a bipartisan piece of legislation intended to protect cryptocurrency users, in reaction to the collapse of the FTX Bitcoin exchange. The measure gives Texas regulators the authority to control companies that act as banks for crypto depositors by limiting the use of funds, requiring annual reporting,and requiring audits.

Another recent regulation, Senate Bill 1929, mandates that miners with energy capabilities greater than 75 megawatts register as big load operators with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) and share information with ERCOT. Similar to this, House Bill 4728 gives ERCOT the authority to require virtual currency mining operations to register and submit details about their location and demand.

Texas’s initiatives to provide a welcoming environment for cryptocurrency businesses while protecting customers from electrical and market volatility have huge ramifications for the entire country. Everything is bigger in Texas, according to the adage, and this is also true of its influence on the Bitcoin industry. States around the U.S. would do well to keep a careful eye on the accomplishments and shortcomings of Texas’ crypto policy.

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