A United States Senator, Ted Cruz, has expressed his opinion regarding the mining of bitcoin mining in the U.S. state of Texas. Senator Cruz has said that Texas should mine bitcoin using the waste natural gas that is currently flared. Sen. Cruz noted that the State can benefit from renewable energy by converting the wastes and excess into electricity for mining. He went further to predict that in five years, the electricity consumption for bitcoin mining may form the greater part of Texas’ electrical consumption.
Sen. Cruz stated these at a blockchain summit. The Texas Blockchain Summit brought together thought leaders in crypto spaces and the government to share ideas about cryptocurrencies and current challenges, prospects, and the future. In his speech, Sen. Cruz talked about his strong faith in the economic potentials of bitcoin mining in a state where excess gas is flared and the environment suffers. He argued that mining the foremost token is a way to capture the financial value of excess gas; a problem that has faced the nation for so many years.
Given that the U.S. flares more than half of its gas in Texas, Sen. Cruz pointed out that the government can simply provide the necessary equipment to transport that gas to where it can be duly processed to generate energy. The problem of proper transmission of energy, he noted, is one that affects even countries where there is enough sunshine and wind to generate energy but there are no transmission lines.
Bitcoin and Mining
Mining is an important aspect of the world’s first cryptocurrency which used a proof-of-work protocol. Bitcoin mining consumes huge amounts of electricity and computer power; a source of concern for many critics who have advocated for more regulation and a possible switch to non-renewable energy. Following months of the intense crackdown on miners in some countries, it is now more important for crypto miners to find alternative energy sources. This is the message that Sen. Cruz is advocating; reducing gas flares and benefiting from bitcoin mining.
Due to China’s ban on cryptocurrency and its gradual phasing out of crypto mining, more miners are moving to countries like Canada, the U.S., and Kazakhstan where policies favor mining and electricity is relatively cheaper. Of course, this will mean an increase in electricity consumption. The U.S. must be ready to improve electricity generation.
Sen. Cruz also believes that the excess electricity generated from excess gas used in bitcoin mining can be returned to the national grid in the event of a power outage.
Recent data indicates that power consumption for bitcoin mining has surpassed the previous year when 67 terawatt-hours (TWh) was used. We are in October and the power consumption sits well above 67 TWh with projected consumption set to hit 91 TWh by the end of the year 2021.
The need for more sources of energy for bitcoin mining has increased and will increase if China’s planned crypto mining phasing out is completed in the coming months.