3 - 4 minute read
Texas is on its way to becoming a hub for Bitcoin mining due to its cheap energy and friendly regulators. The state is showing its support for this industry by passing two bills, SB 1929 and HB 591, that are awaiting Governor Greg Abbott’s signature and will take effect on September 1st if signed. These bills indicate Texas’ commitment to Bitcoin mining, and they are being closely watched by industry experts and traders.
The first bill, SB 1929, requires Bitcoin miners whose energy capacity is larger than 75 megawatts (MW) to register with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) of Texas as large loads operators. The PUC will then share their data with the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the grid operator. This bill is in line with the March 2022 interim interconnection process formed by ERCOT’s Large Flexible Loads Taskforce, which is responsible for drafting policy to manage big electric loads such as Bitcoin miners.
The second bill, HB 591, was sent to the governor on April 18, and will introduce tax exemptions from companies that put to use otherwise wasted gas, including data centers. The bills signal that Texas remains the jurisdiction of choice for bitcoin, blockchain, and digital assets.
Texas is not the only state that’s pro-mining. Legislation protecting mining was passed in Arkansas and Montana. Similar bills in Missouri and Mississippi have died. By contrast, New York imposed a two-year moratorium on new fossil fuel-based bitcoin mines, and Oregon is currently considering legislation that would require data centers, including miners, to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
The third bill, SB 1751, dubbed by some the “anti bitcoin mining bill” and which would have capped the industry’s participation in cost-saving demand-response programs, was stopped at the committee stage. Demand-response programs are various schemes in which miners get power credits for curtailing their operations at times of peak energy demand.
“Texas is setting a standard for how to adopt this new and innovative technology,” says Dennis Porter, who leads the industry advocacy group, Satoshi Action Fund. With policy stagnation at the federal level, the states are stepping up to be the incubators of innovation.
The Bottom Line
Texas’ support for Bitcoin mining is boosting the industry, and the passing of these bills is a positive sign for traders. The state’s commitment to this innovative technology is setting a standard for other states, and this is likely to attract more investors to the state. Traders should keep an eye on Texas’ Bitcoin mining industry and consider investing in it.