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Bitcoin Mining in Texas

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

If you are driving a rural road in Texas and happen to see a sign similar to this sign, you can bet the underground pipes along this network are attached to a non-descript building and a micro-turbine electric generator .

And this small building will be near a road, as there is very likely a fiber optic line that runs up to that building for a dedicated internet connection. There are no signs identifing this building as a BTC mining operation.

Dove season has opened in North Texas. It generates a lot of revenue for the land owners. I interviewed a land owner and natural gas producer on a piece of his land. We met at the well head in the middle of a 500 acre pasture and talked about the weather and the rain, and how much hay would be available for the winter. I mentioned my intrest in CryptoCurrency and he pointed to a portable building in the next plot of land and said; We are producing gas to power some new generators and mine BitCoin. I was searching for words as this outdoors man/cowboy/oil and gas producer told me of his new venture.

You can see these road side warning signs in most places in Texas, Oklahoma , New Mexico and California. They may also be in the middle of a wheat or hay field, as many oil pipe lines have been in operation for almost 100 years in Texas. Before farming expanded and used more and more land.

Even before farmers, these were open prairies and brush land, and oil fields. When you think oil and gas, most people think gasoline, but natural gas is very important as a clean, reliable and cheap source of energy.

More and more, natural gas is being used to generate electricity because it is so much cleaner that the coal fired power plants. And with modern techology and superior metals, power plants can be downsized and placed near the well head where gas comes out of the ground or at a collection site from many gas pipelines.

By distributing this electric generation, the overall impact of Bitcoin mining is hardly noticeable except for the gas and electric producers. They profit by having contracts to keep the equiptment up and running 24/7.

These gas wells produce cleaner energy, and with a stable and constant supply of gas, they attract customers that rely on uninterrupted power. When your source of power is literally next door to the mining operation, you can buy that power at a better price.

In my 60+ years of working ,many of my family and friends are involved in or around the energy sector. I can only remember one major disruption in the gas supply, but the oil prices vary so much, that at times; the oil fields are almost completely shut down. That is why so many hospitals and data centers rely on backup generators that run off natural gas.

The electric power lines get less efficient as they get longer. This is due to the wire itself consuming a bit of the power as it flows down the wires and the wire heats up. The further it goes, the more power is lost, and wasted. There are remedies for long distances, but the cost of building these better transmission lines go up and up and up with distance.

So, with more and more decentralized micro generators, the cost of power transmission and the energy lost to long transmission lines lowers the cost of electricity.

So, cheaper energy, cleaner energy, less wasted power, fiber optic internet connections, low taxes and just some friendly folks lead to a new business model for the Texas/Oklahoma energy sector. And also, a few more jobs in the tech field. This looks like a win- win situation with a new and better currency/data/energy/jobs solution.

According to the Texas Blockchain Council, "While the United States is home to a mere 14% of global virtual currency mining, Texas is fast becoming a player in the space. Due to Texas's low energy costs and deregulated market, it will soon be home to the largest virtual currency mine in North America. Rockdale, TX provides a strong example of mining’s positive impact on local economies as it has seen millions of dollars in outside investment and the creation of hundreds of local, high paying jobs.6,7 Furthermore, through coordination with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), virtual currency mining data centers are able to turn off during peak demand thereby preventing the need to turn on less efficient peak demand power plants. They can also allow ERCOT to stabilize and predict demand when it is low."

These power plants below may be a thing of the past; because as they are retired and replaced with decentralized and renewable or more efficient power supplies we see less pollution. Another operation on a "stranded well" is discussed here. A stranded well has no access to a pipeline and the only way to get the gas to the market would be to haul in a transport truck. This is very expensive and energy wasteful.

In order to be transparent, the author of this post confirms he owns some BTC, ETH and has been accused of ownership of a power plant or maybe some oil and gas wells, or at least he should buy some as he spends so much money on an old farm truck that uses way too much oil and gas. But,........ this is just my humble opinion.

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