Monday 15 August 2022
Home / Aave / Crypto miners in Texas shut down operations as state experiences extreme heat wave

Crypto miners in Texas shut down operations as state experiences extreme heat wave

With many parts of Texas enduring days of temperatures well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in July, many crypto miners have shuttered operations in anticipation of the state’s energy grid being unable to meet demand.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, on Sunday called on Texas residents and businesses to conserve electricity with “record high electric demand” expected on Monday. According to ERCOT’s forecast, demand for electricity in Texas — due in part to running air conditioners amid extreme heat — could surpass the available supply.

The energy supplier’s prediction model showed demand could reach a record high of 79,615 megawatts (MW). While energy costs in Texas in June were reportedly lessened due to increased production from wind and solar, ERCOT reported on Sunday that wind generation was “generating significantly less than what it historically generated in this time period” — less than 8% of capacity when demand was predicted to be highest.

Many crypto miners in the Lone Star State have announced they have already scaled back or shut down operations in anticipation of demand Texas’ energy grid may not be prepared to handle. In a Monday announcement on Twitter, crypto miner Core Scientific said it had powered down all its ASIC servers located in the state until further notice “to provide relief to people in Texas.”

A Riot Blockchain spokesperson told Cointelegraph that its Whinstone facility in Rockdale had curtailed energy use at ERCOT’s request during the summer months, consuming 8,648 MWh less. Argo Blockchain CEO Peter Wall also said that the firm had also reduced operations in the state — likely referring to its Helios facility in Dickens County.

“In times of high-power demand, we believe that people should take priority over crypto mining,” Wall told Cointelegraph. “When ERCOT sends out a conservation alert, we take it seriously and curtail our mining operations. We did this again this afternoon, as did many of our peers in the mining space.”

Related: Compass Mining loses facility after allegedly failing to pay power bill

Mining firms operating in Texas during the winter months have faced similar challenges since 2021, when freezing temperatures nearly caused the entire grid to shut down — instead, many parts of the state were without power for days. In February, Riot announced that it had shut down 99% of its operations in advance of a possible repeat winter storm, predicted to demand roughly 50,000 MW of electricity — 62% of what Texans may be attempting to draw from the grid on Monday.

ERCOT’s announcement came as many crypto mining firms continue to set up new operations in Texas, seemingly attracted by less regulatory oversight and lower energy costs. In June, Riot Blockchain said it planned to “ship the balance of its S19 miner fleet” from New York to Texas, and Switzerland-based crypto mining firm White Rock Management announced it will be expanding its operations to the United States — starting with Texas.

About Sean Patterson

Check Also

Latest Report Shows Cryptojacking Increased By 30% During The Crypto Slump

The crypto industry is fraught with different malicious actors preying on unsuspecting users, especially the cryptojacking attackers. Many hacks and exploits occur in the industry, targeting crypto firms and individual investors. According to data, crypto scams and exploits in 2022 amounted to $10.3 million from January to June. This shows that the industry is not safe to operate without caution. Apart from exploiting exchanges and networks, cybercriminals also target individuals through cryptojacking. This targeted attack on someone’s computer resources to mine crypto without permission. In cryptojacking, the lousy actor will infect the computer with mining malware through the target’s loopholes in extensions and browsers. This tactic might seem unpopular, but recent reports have shown that it increased by 30% in 2022, even with the failing crypto market. Cryptocurrency market trends upwards on the day chart | Source: Crypto Total Market Cap on TradingView.com This report emerged from SonicWall mid-year cyber threat update. According to the cyber-security company’s report, the volume of these exploits increased by $66.7 million compared to its figure in the first half of 2021. Factors Increasing Crypto Scams According to the company report, one of the factors that contributed to the increase in cryptojacking was the Log4j vulnerability. This flaw was discovered in December 2021, affecting a Java-based logging utility in Apache’s open source library. With this vulnerability, hackers can quickly access a system remotely and attack their targets. Another factor leading to this increase is that cryptojacking is easier to perpetrate. This method of attack is not risky compared to ransomware in that the victim must be involved so he can pay the ransom. In cryptojacking, the target will never know that the network or computer is under attack. Cryptojacking And The Financial Sector From this data, it’s evident that everyone operating in the financial sector is at risk. People are more aware of ransomware attacks and have devised means to prevent them or decrypt their files. Also, cryptojacking wasn’t that common in the financial sector. But now, criminals have changed their targets from other sectors. A recent report shows that finance and retail are at risk of this trend. The finance sector recorded a 269% increase, while retail saw a 63% increase in cryptojacking. This figure shows that attackers are targeting the finance sector more than retail. Cyber-security researchers claim cyptojacking was intense in quarter one of 2022 when crypto prices were standard. The activities only began to drop after the crypto market crashed. As the sector lost massively, the targeted profits plummeted, causing the hackers to reduce their operations. But judging by past trends, the researchers revealed that the volume of cryptojacking in Q3 will reduce but increase by quarter four. Featured image from Pixabay, chart from TradingView.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *