Exactly How Much Power Are Bitcoin Miners in Texas Consuming?

One transaction = a day and a half of your household running

Bitcoin consumes a lot of energy (Photo by Getty Images / Maggie Q. Thompson)

Last month, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) reported that they now forecast Texas’ power demand to just about double in the next six years.

And while Texas’ population is growing, it won’t be anywhere near doubled in six years. The cause for concern is largely cryptocurrency mining, which ERCOT predicts will account for half of the new projected demand. That’s because this mining, the process through which transactions are entered on the blockchain and new coins emerge, is a power-hungry process.

But just how much power does it take? A report released Monday quantified it like this: One Bitcoin transaction – which takes about 10 minutes – equals the amount of power used by a household in 36 hours. In other terms, a crypto transaction takes as much power as 26,000 VISA card transactions.

Earlier this year, the US Energy Information Administration reported that Bitcoin miners use as much energy as the entire state of Utah. Looking at a tool created by Cambridge researchers to track Bitcoin mining power usage, current yearly power consumption is greater than all of Norway’s annual power usage.

That’s why it costs so much to bail cryptominers out when electricity demand peaks – last year, we reported that ERCOT paid Bitcoin miner Riot $31 million to conserve power during grid strain. (And during the 2021 winter storm, the Bitdeer mining facility got $18 million to conserve.)

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Bitcoin, ERCOT, Cryptocurrency, crypto mining

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