Texas that would like to become the capital of crypto, the vulnerable power grid and everything else ...

A perfect storm is about to hit the lone star state: will its battered power grid be able to withstand the increase in energy demand linked to its positioning strategy among the leaders of the blockchain universe?

Marco VISMARAN November 21, 2021

Slashdot reports an interesting article that appeared on Bloomberg: The consumption boom linked to the strategy of this state to be accredited as a leader in the crypto sector and to incentives for companies linked to this world arrives in Texas, where the electricity grid has notoriously sub-optimal characteristics, precisely at time when the electricity infrastructure is already under pressure from both a population and an expanding economy. Texas is infamous for the quality of its power grid, which could be described as "deadly unreliable". There were catastrophic blackouts last February, which left millions of people in the dark for days. In the USA. In the 21st century. This infrastructural disaster took the lives of at least 210 people. Victims of an announced disaster. Proponents of initiatives to attract blockchain companies like Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott, both Republicans, say miners are beneficial to the power grid because they can soak up excess clean electricity (sic!) And - this maybe it's even better - they can decrease their network load within seconds and avoid blackouts. It is natural to wonder how mining companies will behave when the demand for electricity exceeds supply ... who knows maybe stringent laws will be enacted, maybe fair play will prevail and companies will voluntarily slow down their operations during periods of overload, or we will see other tragedies unfold and other lives broken. Texas, therefore, one of those vying for the podium in the most vulnerable power grid in the United States, is about to be voluntarily hit by a surge in electricity demand, roughly double what Austin consumes today. Such an idiotic idea that to some it seemed brilliant. For months, many companies in the blockchain galaxy have been moving south, but until now it was not possible to calculate the impact of this migration on the electricity grid. The increase in demand can be quantified in the order of 5000 megawatts in the next two years. In terms of US consumption, this figure corresponds to approximately double that consumed by the million inhabitants of the Texan capital in all of 2020. The attraction of companies in the crypto sector by the lone star state is based on two pillars: on the one hand, a low cost of energy and a generic laissez-faire by the state, on the other hand there are advantages enshrined in the law such as example a 10-year tax break, state-funded staff training, sales tax credit ... These two incentives are working: according to Lee Bratcher, president of Texas Blockchain, the network operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas ( or Ercot) will jump from 8% to 10% today, to about 20% of the Bitcoin network globally by the end of 2022. We look forward to hearing that recently allocated federal funds will be invested in restructuring and securing the Texas power grid. If this is not done, we may shortly have to give you very sad news. We cannot talk about the future and innovation if there are not the necessary infrastructures to host evolution and change. It is childish to think of increasing the load on a network by 5000 mW in two years, the failure of which has resulted in literally hundreds of deaths.