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(59,854 posts)
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 08:45 AM Wednesday

Imagine That!! The Already-Shitty TX Power Grid Has To Deal With Endlessly Growing Demand From Bitcoin Mining


Noise pollution is not the only reason that Bitcoin mining may be keeping Texans up at night. The mine owned and operated by Marathon Digital is part of a growing tide of cryptocurrency mining facilities opening across the country, but especially in Texas, where taxes are low, land is plentiful and mining companies can take advantage of the state’s deregulated energy market. As electricity demand rises, ordinary Texans can end up paying the price on their monthly utility bills. Bitcoin is the largest and best known cryptocurrency, first devised in 2008 as an electronic payment system that cuts out middlemen like banks and credit card companies, with all transactions managed by a decentralized network of Bitcoin users. A Bitcoin, currently worth about $58,000, can be purchased with dollars at a Bitcoin exchange, like Coinbase. To buy something with Bitcoin, a buyer sends the currency from a digital wallet to the seller’s digital wallet.

But it’s not that simple. A computer algorithm assigns each transaction a unique random identifying code, which must be guessed in order to validate the transaction. Bitcoin “mining” comes when companies operate powerful computers day and night running endless series of random numbers before hitting upon, or guessing, the correct code. Every time a Bitcoin miner’s computer successfully guesses a transaction code, the miner receives 3.125 newly minted Bitcoins (worth about $181,250 at the current price), which is the fee for helping maintain the network and keep it secure.

The system is designed so that it takes an average of 10 minutes for a Bitcoin miner somewhere in the world to guess a code and verify a transaction. But as Bitcoin miners add computing power to verify more transactions, the system’s algorithm makes the process harder by generating longer codes, creating what has been called an energy arms race, requiring larger and larger amounts of electricity to run the computers. During cold spells or heat waves, Texans are commonly called on to conserve power. For example, in August 2023, the state’s grid operator issued eight conservation requests, asking the public to reduce electricity use to help prevent an emergency in which rolling blackouts could be required. Increasingly, Texas lawmakers are worried that energy-hungry mines will make it harder to keep the lights on across the state.


Currently, cryptocurrency mining — mostly for Bitcoin — can draw up to 2,600 megawatts of power from the grid operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, ERCOT’s senior vice president, Woody Rickerson, told senators. That’s about the same amount of power used by the city of Austin, and another 2,600 megawatts of mining is already approved to connect to the grid. Even more Bitcoin mines are expected to come to Texas in the near future. ERCOT estimates that as much as 43,600 megawatts of additional electricity demand will be added to the grid by 2027 from facilities classified as “Large Flexible Loads” requiring more than 75 megawatts. In a statement to Inside Climate News, ERCOT said, “currently, the crypto mining industry represents the largest share of large flexible loads seeking to interconnect to the ERCOT System.” Data centers for artificial intelligence and facilities for producing hydrogen from water through electrolysis also make up part of the large flexible loads.



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Imagine That!! The Already-Shitty TX Power Grid Has To Deal With Endlessly Growing Demand From Bitcoin Mining (Original Post) hatrack Wednesday OP
Indeed. 2naSalit Wednesday #1
This whole thing seems like the dumbest scam ever ramapo Wednesday #2


(4,636 posts)
2. This whole thing seems like the dumbest scam ever
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 10:47 PM

What a waste of energy....what a ridiculous way to create "wealth"

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