Texas Bitcoin Miners Receive Huge Support from Lawmakers
- Texas is a Bitcoin mining hub thanks to its affordable electricity.
- With SB 1751 no longer active, Texas miners can continue to profit from the response programs.
Bitcoin miners can enjoy a moment of peace as Texas legislators have shown their support for the trade and recently passed two bitcoin mining-friendly bills during their latest legislative session. Interestingly, the lawmakers temporarily blocked a bill that would have reduced the energy credit incentives for miners. The Bitcoin-friendly bills, SB 1929 and HB 591, are awaiting Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature and would go into effect on September 1 if signed.
Miners whose energy capacities exceed 75 megawatts (MW) are required by the bill SB 1929 to register with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) of Texas as heavy operators. The PUC then communicates this information with the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Interestingly, HB 591 seeks to introduce tax allowances for businesses such as data centers that rely on otherwise wasted gas and was sent to the governor in April.
Lee Bratcher, president of local industry group Texas Blockchain Council (TBC), remarked that “these bills signal that Texas remains the jurisdiction of choice for bitcoin, blockchain, and digital assets.”
The “anti-bitcoin mining bill,” or SB 1751, which was stopped at the committee stage, sought to put a limit on how much bitcoin miners could participate in cost-saving demand-response programs. These programs reward miners with power credits for reducing production during periods of high energy demand.
Bitcoin miners and other industrial energy users are encouraged to reduce operations when the Texas energy grid is stressed by demand, such as during heat waves or harsh winter storms, to free up power for locals and vital services.
ERCOT rewards companies that comply via its demand response program. However, the compensation given to companies is determined by individual energy contracts. But some Bitcoin miners receive energy credits that they can use for future electric bills. Energy credits are a type of non-cash payment that can only be applied to future energy purchases.
According to Olivier Beaufils, the market lead for ERCOT at Aurora Energy, Texas lawmakers will not move forward with SB 1751. Beaufils noted that “any bill that hasn’t cleared committees and got to the House at this point […] has almost no chance of passing.”
Bitcoin Mining Remains Lucrative in Texas
Texas-based mining companies will continue to profit from these energy credits in Texas following the stoppage of the bill at the committee stage. Texas has the reputation of being one of the world’s largest Bitcoin mining hubs thanks to affordable electricity and accommodating authorities.
Texas is also the largest in terms of energy production in the United States and is keen on setting up guidelines for mining activities. Other states, like Arkansas and Montana, have shown interest in developing friendly policies for miners.