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Ted Cruz Says Energy Wasted with Natural Gas Flaring Could be Instead Used to Power Bitcoin Mining in Texas

coincodex.com 11 October 2021 13:40, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

Key highlights:

  • U.S. Senator for Texas Ted Cruz says that Bitcoin mining could be a useful outlet for the energy wasted in natural gas flaring
  • According to Cruz, such infrastructure could also help improve the resiliency of the Texas grid
  • Texas is already one of the biggest Bitcoin mining hubs in the United States

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz says Bitcoin mining could help strengthen the Texas grid

U.S. Senator for Texas Ted Cruz says that Bitcoin mining could be a useful outlet for the energy that’s produced in natural gas flaring. Cruz made his comments at the Texas Blockchain Summit, where he pointed out that the Permian basin in West Texas accounts for 50% of the natural gas that’s flared in the United States. Routine flaring is a practice where natural gas found in deposits of petroleum is disposed of through combustion.

According to Cruz, the energy that’s currently wasted through natural gas flaring could be harnessed to power Bitcoin mining: 

“Fifty percent of the natural gas in this country that is flared, is being flared in the Permian right now in West Texas. I think that is an enormous opportunity for Bitcoin, because that’s energy that is just being wasted.”

Cruz said that if infrastructure is created for this purpose, it could also improve the resiliency of the Texas grid. Earlier this year, a winter storm caused major disruptions to the Texas grid, resulting in millions of homes losing power. According to Cruz, the infrastructure that would harness natural gas to power Bitcoin mining could be used to provide additional capacity to the grid for critical services. Per a transcription of Cruz’s comments provided by Coin Metrics co-founder Nic Carter, the senator stated:

“So I think that has enormous potential and it’s something that in five years I expect to see a dramatically different terrain with Bitcoin mining playing a significant role in strengthening and hardening the resilience of the grid.”

Texas is already an important hub for Bitcoin mining. According to statistics released by Foundry, the biggest U.S.-based cryptocurrency mining pool, Texas miners contribute 14% of the pool’s United States hashrate. However, New York, Kentucky and Georgia all account for more hashrate, at least to the Foundry pool. 

Texas was also a popular destination for Chinese cryptocurrency miners after the Chinese governemnt started a heavy-handed crackdown on the crypto mining industry.

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