Crypto mining could fix Texas power problems in ‘nanoseconds’: Blockchain exec


Riot Blockchain commercial director Chad Harris explained Wednesday how bitcoin miners can help alleviate energy problems in Texas, arguing that “virtual power plants” include an “important component.”

“I think the important component is that in nanoseconds these facilities can turn on and off when the network needs support,” Harris told Susan Li of FOX Business during a live interview on “Mornings with Maria” on Wednesday.

Harris provided information on Riot Blockchain’s Whinstone facility located in Rockdale, which is outside Austin and is the largest bitcoin mining hub in North America with a total power capacity of 750 megawatts, according to the company’s website.

“Only this week, every week, every day we turn off between 3pm and 7pm when we get the warning and it literally happens in seconds,” Harris noted.

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The cryptographic executive provided the information as most of central and western Texas are under a heat warning or warning.

According to Fox Weather, millions of Americans in the state will be affected by temperatures that are expected to remain well above 100 degrees.

The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Fort Worth said that by Friday, daytime heat will be more than 10 degrees above normal in most places in the region.

The agency’s Austin and San Antonio office said that while hot temperatures will drop slightly on Wednesday and Thursday, stunning temperatures above 100 degrees will return.

North Texans will see an increase in their electricity bills due to the heat. ERCOT, the company that manages most of Texas ’electricity, expects a record heat this year, with demand expected to coincide with the 2019 summer peak.

Bitcoin miners are trying to help conserve energy during a heat wave in Texas. (iStock / iStock)

In February 2021, a winter storm damaged the state’s power grid and left more than four million people without heat for days.

The February storm caused one of the largest power outages in U.S. history, and the blackout killed hundreds.

While the state’s power grid is still struggling with sporadic service, the growing bitcoin mining industry in Texas thinks they have a way to help alleviate the situation.

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz believes in the state’s mining community, arguing in October that it can “strengthen” energy infrastructure.

“Much of the discussion about Bitcoin sees Bitcoin as an energy consumer. The perspective I suggest is very inverse, which is a way to strengthen our energy infrastructure,” Cruz said, according to KTSM-TV.

The Texas Blockchain Council, a trade association representing the state’s bitcoin mining industry, announced last month that bitcoin miners had responded to the conservation notice issued by ERCOT at the time, according to a press release, adding that some facilities they closed while many activities declined in the afternoons when electricity was in high demand and were reactivated during the night when demand declined.

“In addition to bringing jobs and tax revenue to rural Texas, many of which need economic revitalization, the bitcoin mining industry also provides greater resistance to the network by acting as a controllable burden,” said Lee Bratcher, president of company. Texas Blockchain Council.

Like Harris, Bratcher also noted that “bitcoin miners can be shut down in seconds, making them a perfect resource for the network in terms of frequency balance and demand response.”

Speaking to Mornings with Maria on Wednesday, Hong Fang, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin, argued that “there is always a misconception” that bitcoin is bad when it comes to energy use.

“Using Bitcoin’s energy is for the best possible profit, which is ensuring a global money network and that’s the best possible way to use energy for us,” he said.

Fang also argued that “bitcoin is also good for developing new green energy for us because of the way the network is designed.”

“It’s very elastic,” he continued. “Help [to encourage] the surplus of green energy for energy producers. And also the way the network is designed [it] it is encouraging the use of green energy because there is a reduction in the subsidy every four years ”.

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“So miners are encouraged to really look for cheaper energy, which is renewable energy,” Fang said.

Julia Musto of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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