Industrial-scale bitcoin mining facilities in the US create as much carbon pollution as 3.5 million gas-powered cars, and Texas, which boasts the largest number of mining facilities in the country, will see the cost of electricity rise nearly 5% by mid-2023 due to cryptocurrency mining.
Those stunning figures come from analyses by tech nonprofit WattTime and energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie for a New York Times investigation into the rise of large-scale bitcoin mining in the US.
Bitcoin miners operate large arrays of computers that are paid fees to solve the cryptological problems that allow the currency to maintain a decentralized database of all its transactions. The investigation found 34 mining operations, each drawing more than 40 megawatts of electricity; many of them were started in the U.S. after China banned the activity there in 2021, partly due to concerns over power usage.
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