Bitcoin Hashrate Drops 25% as Texas Miners Curtail for Grid

Miner operators in Texas curtail gigawatts of power capacities to help strengthen the local grid.

Bitcoin hashrate has declined as much as 25% over the past three days as miner operators in Texas curtail power to strengthen the local grid amid a cold outbreak.

According to data from MiningPoolStats, the total real-time hashrate connected to all known mining pools has dropped from 570 EH/s on Sunday to as low as 425 EH/s on Tuesday morning Eastern Time. After climbing back to 510 EH/s during the day, it has declined again to around 450 EH/s as of writing.

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At an assumed efficiency of 30 J/TH, the decline of 145 EH/s implies more than four gigawatts of power capacity has been curtailed worldwide.

Notably, Foundry USA Pool has been the main source of the decline, witnessing its miner customers unplug as much as 75 EH/s of hashrate mainly due to curtailment activities in Texas.

After China’s crackdown on bitcoin mining in 2021, Texas has emerged as the new global hub of bitcoin mining. As of September, more than 28% of the hashrate connected to Foundry’s pool was in Texas.

MiningPoolStats shows that Foundry USA Pool’s hashrate was still around 155 EH/s on Sunday. It plunged to 90 EH/s and then 80 EH/s on Monday and Tuesday mornings Eastern Time, respectively.

Meanwhile, the hashrate connected to Antpool also declined by around 30 EH/s. All told, the two largest bitcoin mining pools accounted for over 70% of the network’s hashrate decline since Sunday.

Texas’s grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), first issued a note on Sunday relating to the potential electrical demand surge due to extreme cold weather.

In a further Conservation Appeal, ERCOT requested residents and businesses to conserve energy usage on Monday. It appears that Texas’s grid system, which has long been criticized for its fragility, has held firm this time. ERCOT said in a note on Tuesday that it has weathered through “record-breaking peak times.”