Industrial Bitcoin mining breathes new life into Texas town

Two Bitcoin mining giants are competing for cheap electricity in a small town in Texas.

Bitdeer, a mining company spin-off from the Chinese giant Bitmain, and Riot Blockchain, one of the leading publicly traded Bitcoin mining companies in the United States, both operate data centers that are hosted in a former Rockdale, Texas Aluminum smelter.

The town’s aluminum smelter used to be the largest in the world until Alcoa, which ran it, ended operations in 2008. According to Lee Bratcher, chairman of the Texas Blockchain Council, the energy capacity of the facility was wasted due to Alcoa’s departure until miners opened stores.

Although Rockdale is a rural town with only 5,600 people, it demonstrates all the benefits that industrial-scale miners are seeking-cryptocurrency-friendly politicians, large tracts of land hosting abandoned industrial infrastructure for reuse, and extreme Cheap electricity prices, thanks to the deregulated market in Texas.

Rockdale Mayor John King described the relationship between the local grid operator, the Texas Electric Reliability Council (ERCOT) and the miners as mutually beneficial. He emphasized that miners often consume electricity that would otherwise be wasted, and if electricity is needed elsewhere, they can also shut down operations immediately. He added:

“Miners promise to buy a certain amount of electricity, all they do is sell it back in the market [value] And make a profit. They have a two-cent or three-cent contract… they can sell it for $9 per kWh. ”

As Cointelegraph reported on October 7, Riot’s Bitcoin production more than tripled This year.

The company now estimates that the facility produces more than 500 BTC per month from its facility in Rockdale. At current prices, the mined coins are equivalent to 30 million U.S. dollars per month. Riot stated that the site has 100,000 mining equipment.

related: Crypto Cowboys: Texas counties welcome Bitcoin miners with open arms

Texas lawmakers are pushing the state to further expand the Bitcoin mining industry, and Senator Ted Cruz described the mining industry as a means of capturing the natural gas currently burning in the state.

Speech on October 10 Texas Blockchain SummitCruz believes that natural gas is currently being burned in West Texas because “there is no transmission equipment to transport natural gas to places where natural gas is normally used.”

“Use this power to mine Bitcoin. Part of the benefit of doing this is that the moment you do it, you greatly help the environment, because instead of burning natural gas, you put it into production,” he added road.