If a new breed of entrepreneurs and their boosters have their way, the Lone Star State could soon be known as a hub for bitcoin mining. Omar Gallaga wrote about the crypto business for Texas Monthly. He told Texas Standard that a bitcoin boom began in Texas when China cracked down on mining there.
“Because Texas has such [a] business-friendly climate, a lot of people find this attractive,” Gallaga said. “We have lots of cheap power. We have lots of wide-open spaces where people can set up, and old buildings that people can occupy.”
Highlights from this segment:
– Bitcoin mining involves setting up computers to make calculations that add value to the blockchain.
– Mining operations require large amounts of energy. Though many companies building facilities in Texas hope to use renewable power sources, most currently operate on the state’s electrical grid. Some are concerned about the operations’ environmental impact.
– Some bitcoin companies say they work with ERCOT to ensure that they don’t tax the power grid at times of high demand, like February’s freeze. But not all mining companies take these proactive steps.
– Bitcoin businesses have lobbied lawmakers extensively. Gov. Greg Abbott is a supporter of the industry. It’s unclear how many jobs mining, which is done by racks of computers, will bring to the state.