A war is brewing between the American states to attract miners, with New York, Kentucky, Georgia and Texas leading the way. According to the mining pool Foundry USA, 19.9% of the American hashrate of bitcoins – that is, the total computing power of miners – is in New York, 18.7% in Kentucky, 17.3% in Georgia and 14% in Texas.
The pool allows the miner to combine his power with the power of thousands of other “colleagues” around the world. Foundry USA is the largest mining pool in North America and the fifth largest in the world. However, it does not take into account the entire hashrate of US miners, since not all farms in the US use the services of this pool. For example, it is not used by Riot Blockchain – one of America’s largest mining companies with a large presence in Texas – which may be why the entire state presence in the industry is considered understated.
Although the pool statistics cover only a fraction of the US domestic mining market, they point to nationwide trends and are an argument against environmentalists. Many of the states at the top of the list are established renewable energy hubs, a fact that has already begun to change the minds of skeptics who previously believed that bitcoin was bad for the environment.
When Beijing decided to expel all of its cryptominers last spring, almost half of the Bitcoin network went offline almost overnight. Although the network itself did not shut down, the incident triggered the largest migration of miners in history. The costs of the industry are not so high – the only cost item is usually electricity, which means that companies are interested in switching to the cheapest energy sources, which, as a rule, are renewable.
Foundry USA is topped by New York State. A third of its internal production comes from renewable energy sources. And taking into account nuclear power plants, the state has come close to completely carbon-free electricity. It is also the third largest hydropower producer in the country. And the state’s cold climate and previously abandoned but ready-to-repurpose industrial infrastructure make it an ideal place for Bitcoin mining. This year, state lawmakers reviewed an initiative to ban cryptomining for three years to conduct environmental assessments and measure greenhouse gas emissions. However, the initiative failed in the end.
Other states that account for a significant portion of the US cryptocurrency mining industry include Kentucky and Georgia. The governor of Kentucky is personally friendly to the industry: this year the state passed legislation providing for certain tax breaks for cryptominers. In addition, the state is known for its hydropower and wind power.
According to Foundry USA, Texas is ranked fourth, but many experts are confident that it leads the nationwide standings. The largest mining companies are based here, including Riot Blockchain and China’s Bitdeer. According to Block Crypto, the state is expected to supply tens of thousands of ASICs – specialized machines for mining cryptocurrency. The attractiveness of Texas is due to several factors: the legislative framework, the energy system with wholesale prices for resources, and the abundance of natural gas. Some miners connect directly to state networks to power their equipment. ERCOT, the state utility company, offers the cheapest solar power at $ 0.28 per kWh. As for natural gas in Texas, according to some estimates, it alone, with the proper approach, would provide 34% of the needs of the bitcoin network, which would make the state a clear leader in the production of cryptocurrency not only in the United States, but also in the world.