A Texas town of 5,600 people is benefitting from the Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) mining boom that has the potential to transform its landscape.
What Happened: Rockdale, Texas — a town of 5,600 people — is home to two Bitcoin mining firms, Bitmain spinoff Bitdeer and Riot Blockchain Inc (NASDAQ:RIOT).
Bitmain is a Chinese company best known for creating Bitmain Antminers, which are computers used to perform calculations that result in BTC rewards.
Both the companies have found their new home on a piece of property once occupied by aluminum major Alcoa, as per a CNBC report.
See Also: How To Buy Bitcoin (BTC)
The two companies are pursuing resources such as land and energy, the latter of which is cheaply available in Texas, as per the report.
“Miners are committed to buying a certain amount of power and what they do is they sell it back at market [value] and make a profit,” Rockdale’s Mayor John King told CNBC.
King revealed that the miners also function as an “interruptible load” when the grid requires power, which is underpinned by financial incentives.
“They have a contract of two cents or three cents…and they can sell it for $9 a kilowatt hour,” the town official said.
Why It Matters: Rockdale hosts the largest U.S. Bitcoin mining facility, owned by Riot, which said that once the facility’s expansion is completed, it would have a total power capacity of 750 megawatts.
The town’s economic development director, James Gibson, said Dallas uses just 200 megawatts — adding, “So it’s like having downtown Manhattan, downtown Dallas, all in our backyard,” reported CNBC.
Gibson revealed that Rockdale had 160 acres for the taking. The Mayor has reportedly dealt with 40 inquiries from mining companies that want to set up in Rockdale, many of which are from China.
“They have money. They have equipment. They just need a place – and power, quick,” said Gibson, as per CNBC.
Texas Blockchain Council president Lee Bratcher noted the impact on the town’s economy before the Bitcoin miners set up base.
“The Rockdale economy was devastated for several years until the bitcoin miners showed up,” said Bratcher.
This is significant since the town reportedly went through a rough patch with its only hospital shutting down in 2018 and saw its water supply degrade with residents complaining of red smelly water coming out of their taps.
The United States emerged as the epicenter for Bitcoin mining in the world after China forced miners to shut shop earlier this year.
Price Action: Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $66,930.39 on Oct. 20. At press time, the apex cryptocurrency traded 1.39% lower over 24 hours at $60,581.31.
On Friday, Riot shares closed nearly 1.2% lower at $27.22 in the regular session and rose 0.22% in the after-hours trading.
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