Bitcoin hashrate plummets as Texas-based miners suspend operations
Bitcoin (BTC) hashrate dropped to as low as 159.41 exahashes per second (EH/s) on July 13, its lowest in five months, as Texas-based miners were forced to go offline.
According to data from BTC.com, the 27% drop in hashrate is the largest since February 2022.
Bitcoin hashrate, which signifies the network’s computing power, has been alternating between highs and lows since the BTC price fell below $20,000.
Over a month ago, on June 8, the hashrate was as high as 292 EH/s. But it dropped to 178.44 EH/s on July 9 before picking up again to 241.07 EH/s by July 11. That figure is now presently at 168.2 EH/s.
The declined hashrate has also influenced Bitcoin’s mining difficulty. It has dropped by 3.7% in the last 30 days.
Texas-based miners are offline
Texas-based miners have suspended operations because of the record heatwave in the state.
Heatwaves usually increase energy consumption significantly in the state, and authorities expect it to push the electricity grid beyond its capacity.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has asked state authorities to conserve electricity to prevent power failure.
Most Industrial crypto miners in the state have heeded that request by suspending operations. The last statewide blackout in Texas was in 2021 due to winter storms, resulting in hundreds of deaths.
According to the president of the Texas Blockchain Association, Lee Bratcher, over 1000 megawatts of mining load have already suspended operations.
This represents nearly all industrial scale Bitcoin mining load in Texas and allows for over 1% of total grid capacity to be pushed back onto the grid for retail and commercial use.
Texas has become one of the prime states for crypto mining in the US due to its liberal regulations for the industry in recent years.
But large scale crypto mining also means energy use in Texas has reached new highs. Bloomberg reported that the state had broken its record for electricity use twice this month, first on July 5 with 77,460 megawatts and again on July 8 with 78,206 megawatts.