While many Texans are now struggling as a result of the winter storm that left millions without electricity and drinking water for days, it is unlikely that the state’s crypto mining farms played a significant role in the crisis.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Kristy-Leigh Minehan, a mining analyst and Chief Technical Officer of NEM Software, said that Texas does not currently have enough mining machinery in place to create serious problems in the power grid relative to major regions like Sichuan.
According to Minehan, the German Bitcoin (BTC) mining operator Northern Data is potentially the only one that could have had a major effect on the state’s electricity supply. The business operates a mining farm in East Texas, with others including HODL Ranch and Layer1 in West Texas. The mining expert added that the hashrate in Texas is not enough to interrupt the state’s energy grid, which involves farms that fuel their rigs using excess gas as a by-product of mining oil.
Minehan said that many of Texas’ mining farms are operated by a combination of renewables and coal. While they still rely on the state’s energy grid, they still have access to generators when needed.
The impact of a tragedy in Texas or the Southern United States on the bitcoin hash rate are almost statistically negligible relative to one in China, where miners hold more than half of the hashing power of the network.
Minehan noticed that during the latest snowstorm, the BTC hash rate only decreased by approximately 10 EH/s per second, which is not substantially higher than the usual 5 EH/s normal fluctuations. Blockchain evidence reveals that the hash rate fell from 160 million TH/s on Feb. 11 to 150 million TH/s during the coldest night of the winter storm.
Minehan claimed that it was impossible that mining farms in North America would take the lead in the global hashrate without better access to hardware supply lines. She said that a big industrial player like Intel with well established supply chains cooking deeper into producing mining chips could theoretically turn the tide, but right now it seems like China will remain a fortress because it has direct access to mining rig producers and silicon chips.