While many Texas residents are still reeling from the winter storm that left millions of people without electricity and running water for days, cryptocurrency mining operations are unlikely to have played a large role during the crisis.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Kristi Lee Minnihan, a mining consultant and chief technology officer at NEM Software, said there are currently not enough mining operations in Texas to cause serious power grid problems compared to large areas like Sichuan.
Minhan said that the German bitcoin miner (BTC) Northern Data is likely the only one that could have a significant impact on the state’s energy supply. The company has a mining business in East Texas, as well as others such as HODL Ranch and Layer1 in West Texas. The mining expert added that the retail rate in Texas is not sufficient to disrupt the state’s power grid, which includes farms that operate their facilities by using the generated surplus gas as a by-product of oil production.
Minhan said many of the Texas mines are powered by a mixture of renewable energy and coal. While they still rely on the state grid, they also have access to generators when needed.
The impact of a disaster in Texas or the southern US on bitcoin hash rates is almost statistically negligible compared to the situation in China, where miners control more than half of the network’s fragmentation power. Minhan noted that the BTC hash rate decreased by only 10 emissions per second during the recent snowstorm, not much more than the typical 5 EH / s fluctuations from day to day. Blockchain data shows that the hash rate fell from 160 million TH / s from February 11th to 150 million TH / s after the coldest night in a winter storm.
Minehan believes North American mining is unlikely to take the lead in the global hash rate without broader access to hardware supply lines. She said that a major player in the industry such as Intel, with entrenched supply chains, and delving into the development of the mining industry could turn the tide, but it now appears that China will remain a stronghold as it has direct access to mining producers and uses silicon. … for chips.