The ongoing cryptocurrency headwinds for miners in China continue to present endless opportunities to the United States with politicians now more than ever, turning their attention to the already burgeoning sector.
In the recently concluded Texas Blockchain Summit, Ted Cruz pointed out that the vast renewable energy produced in the south-central region of the U.S., Texas was a great opportunity for Bitcoin miners to tap into.
“Texas has a lot of energy. 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 right now is energy that is just being wasted”.
Texas accounts for 47% of national flared gas which mainly comes from the Permian basin which is an oil and gas-rich sedimentary basin in the western part of Texas. This basin is the largest petroleum-producing region in the U.S. and accounts for about 75 trillion cubic feet of gas, a significant portion of which goes to waste.
Cruz further pointed out that this excessive energy could be harnessed to power Bitcoin mining operations given that mining with flared gas is far more profitable than capturing it, especially when pipelines aren’t available.
“Some of the really exciting endeavors that people are looking at is, can we capture that gas instead of burning it? Use it to put a generator right there on site. Use that power to mine Bitcoin. Part of the beauty of that is, the instant you are doing it you’re helping the environment enormously because rather than flaring that natural gas, you’re putting it to productive use,” he added.
The politician also differed with the narrative that Bitcoin is a consumer of energy and bad to the environment. He posited that in fact, crypto presented a great potential to unlock stranded renewables. With a huge chunk of the earth continuously exposed to the sun and wind despite there being no power lines, Cruz sees this massive potential being unlocked within the next five years through the use of renewable energy to power crypto mining.
With the U.S. dominating a third of the global total hash rate, Texas has already curved out itself as one of the largest mining states, coming second after New York. Central to this growth is due to its cheap, capacious grid; supportive policymakers; significant stranded flared natural gas; deregulated grid with real-time spot pricing; excess renewable energy, and the innovation of immersion mining which eliminates overheating.