The total computing power of the Bitcoin network dropped by 33% in a few days amid cold weather in Texas, which led to local miners being disconnected from the power grid.
According to BitinfoCharts, the indicator fell from 606 EH/s (as of January 13) to 401 EH/s. Data Glassnode show similar decline figures: from 630 EH/s (as of January 11) to 413 EH/s.
One of the main sources of the decline was the largest mining pool, Foundry USA Pool. The structure-controlled hashrate fell during this period from 157 EH/s to 85 EH/s, according to MiningPoolStats.
Following the crackdown on the Bitcoin mining industry in China in 2021, Texas has emerged as one of the global mining hubs. As of September 2023, approximately 28% of Foundry USA Pool participants' capacity was located in this US state, according to TheMinerMag.
On Jan. 14, the region's main grid operator, ERCOT, asked residents and businesses to take energy-saving measures in response to “freezing temperatures, record demand and unseasonably weak winds.”
TXANS Update—Jan. 14, 2024: ERCOT has issued a Conservation Appeal for Monday, Jan. 15, from 6 – 10 am CT. Operating reserves are expected to be low tomorrow morning due to continued freezing temperatures, record-breaking demand, and unseasonably low wind. We request Texas… pic.twitter.com/EGBg8zliSs
— ERCOT (@ERCOT_ISO) January 14, 2024
The cold snap also affected clients of Luxor Mining Pool and the largest public miner Marathon Digital.
“Luxor's partners have significantly reduced operations in recent days, shutting down installations to return power to the grid,” it said The Block the company's chief operating officer, Ethan Vera.
Marathon Vice President Charlie Schumacher confirmed to the publication that many cryptocurrency miners in Texas have curtailed their activities as the cold weather worsens.
“Bitcoin miners, among other things, are a technological solution for the energy sector. In Texas, they serve as a base load that can be cut in minutes to free up energy for others during a crisis. This is exactly what we have seen in the last few days,” he added.
The second largest pool, Antpool, also experienced a significant decrease in hashrate by about 30%. In total, the platform’s share, together with Foundry USA Pool, in the drop in Bitcoin’s computing power these days amounted to 70%.
According to TheMinerMag calculations, at least 4 GW of equipment was shut down globally during this period.
Let us remind you that CoinShares experts allowed the hashrate to decrease before halving to 450 EH/s and a further drop to 410 EH/s.
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