San Antonio venture Bitstream Mining joins Texas’ cryptocurrency gold rush with the biggest Bitcoin mining operation in the U.S.
Bitstream Mining is building a large-scale mining facility in the Permian Basin, backed by $3 million in capital funding from parent company Ecoark Holdings. After recent developments in China, the leading Bitcoin (BTC) mining nation in the world, there has been a demand for new mining operations to fill the void.
A huge complex has been set up in San Antonio, where green energy is held in abundance. The recently formed Texas Blockchain Council estimates that there are a growing number of large-scale and small-scale "mines" in the area, as individuals and collective rally to join the Bitcoin gold rush.
Green Energy and Bitcoin
A report released at the start of the year cast a dark shadow over cryptocurrencies, highlighting the extremely high power usage involved in mining Bitcoin. Since then, the crypto community has strived to find solutions to the high energy usage, which in part has happened through changes to blockchain protocols, moving from a Proof of Work (PoW) to a Proof of Stake (PoS) protocol. Although, this isn’t something that pioneering currency Bitcoin has done, nor is it going to do.
While many reports from the media portray the China ban as a negative for the industry, there are certainly a number of positives to observe. The fact that the vast majority of the mining facilities are now moving abroad, away from China a country that has very little green energy and little interest in producing it. As well as that, the new digital yuan undermines the very concept of decentralized finance (DeFi) and it’s good that a nation looking to centralize crypto does so alone.
With the project in San Antonio, we’re seeing a positive move for Bitcoin and one which should be seen as a positive step towards change. Reducing the carbon footprint of cryptocurrency has been one of the major goals for 2021.
But, what’s in it for the miners?
In essence, the more energy put into mining the more BTC the miners will receive. Before the Bitcoin boom around the start of 2018, most of the algorithmic processing required to power Bitcoin was carried out on personal computers. As time has gone by, the necessity for more powerful mining networks has increased.
The market has become tougher, as the value of Bitcoin has skyrocketed, so has the interest in mining. This has brought us to the commercial ventures we are seeing today from the likes of Bitstream Mining. This is unlikely to be the last of these types of setups, though many new cryptocurrencies and other leading currencies like Ethereum Cardano are based on PoS networks that require nowhere near the same kind of setup as Bitcoin mines.