Texas plans to become the bitcoin capital, vulnerable power grid and all

Texas, already home to the most vulnerable power grid in the U.S., is about to be hit by a surge in demand for electricity that's twice the size of Austin's.

Workers repair a power line in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 18, 2021. Foto: Bloomberg photo by Thomas Ryan Allison.

An army of cryptocurrency miners heading to the state for its cheap power and laissez-faire regulation is forecast to send demand soaring by as much as 5,000 megawatts over the next two years. The crypto migration to Texas has been building for months, but the sheer volume of power those miners will need - two times more than the capital city of almost 1 million people consumed in all of 2020 - is only now becoming clear.

The boom comes as the electrical system is already under strain from an expanding population and robust economy. Even before the new demand comes online, the state's grid has proven to be lethally unreliable. Catastrophic blackouts in February plunged millions into darkness for days, and, ultimately, led to at least 210 deaths...

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