Bitcoin mining enhances prospects at Texan town Rockdale
In United States’ Texas, two Bitcoin mining firms are having a clash in between in the run for cheap electricity.
Riot Blockchain and Both Bitdeer have hosted data centres at a former aluminium smelting factory in Rockdale town of Texas. Both Bitdeer is a mining agency that spun out of the Chinese Bitmain, while Riot is one of the USA’s leading publicly traded mining companies.
Texas’s aluminium smelting plant had previously been the world’s largest, until Alcoa, the company that ran it, began closing down its operations in 2008. As per the President of the Texas Blockchain Council, Lee Bratcher, the centre’s energy capacity was wasted after Alcoa’s departure until the miners set up shop.
Despite Rockdale comprising of 5600 people, the tiny rural town exhibits all the necessary components sought after by industrial-scale miners, some of these being crypto-friendly political leaders, extremely cheap electricity prices owing to Texas’ deregulated market, vast plots of land of abandoned industrial infrastructure with rip for repurposing and more.
John King, Rockdale Mayor, has described the relationship between a local grid operator and miners as “mutually beneficial.” He also stressed that miners constantly consume electricity power that would otherwise have been wasted. In fact, the miners can instantly shut down the activity should power be needed in urgency.
The Mayor also said that miners in the town are committed to buying a certain amount of power, and then they sell it back at market value to earn profits. Generally, they have a contract of two or three cents while they sell it for $9 a kilowatt-hour.”
As of October 7, Riot tripled its Bitcoin production in 2021. It is now estimated that the Texas unit is producing more than 500 BTC per month. Going by the latest prices, the mined coins equate to $30 million per month. As per Riot, the site hosts 100,000 mining rigs.
As Senator Ted Cruz described, mining can be an effective means to capture natural gas; Texan lawmakers are now pushing for an expansion in the state’s Bitcoin mining operations.
At the October 10, Texas Blockchain Summit, Cruz had argued that natural gas has currently been flaring in West Texas due to “no transmission equipment to get that natural gas”, where it could be ideally used the way natural gas is employed.
Speaking on occasion, Cruz had asserted that part of the beauty in using the power to mine Bitcoin is that the instant one does it, they’re “helping the environment enormously” as the gas that could have been flaring has been used productively.