Winter Storm Elliot Disrupts North American Bitcoin Mining Industry

Zinger Key Points
  • Winter storm causes shutdowns of North American Bitcoin miners.
  • Data shows decrease in Bitcoin mining hashrate during the storm.

A strong storm swept across North America over the weekend and caused Bitcoin BTC/USD miners to shut down throughout the United States.

Data from shows that between Dec. 21 and 24, the Bitcoin mining hashrate - a measure of computational power on the blockchain - decreased by approximately 100 exahashes per second (EH/s), or 40%, to 156 EH/s.

As of Dec. 25, it had returned to an average of 250 EH/s.

Curtailment is a technique that is promoted as a way for miners to support electrical grids.

When demand from other sources is high, such as during winter storms, power providers may shut down due to the constant demand from miners while still making enough money to cover expenses.

An arctic storm that affected the U.S. and Canada caused temperatures in western Montana to drop as low as negative 50 degrees and up to 43 inches of snow to fall in western New York, acording to the BBC

CNN reported the storm has claimed at least 37 lives.

Also read: Trump Cards: Why The Crypto World Needs To Stand Up And Take Notice

Foundry USA Suffers Biggest Loss

The largest mining pool in the U.S., Foundry USA, suffered the most loss of any significant pool on Dec. 23 when it lost more than half of its hashrate, according to data from the information platform Mining Pool Stats.

Some of the largest American miners reduced production, including Riot Blockchain RIOT and Core Scientific CORZ, which is undergoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

According to a LinkedIn post by Lee Bratcher, the founder and president of the Texas Blockchain Council, 99% of the industrial-scale Bitcoin mining load in Texas was shut off at 6 a.m. on Saturday.

The curtailment of miners is evidence that they are supporting the electric grid, according to Dennis Porter, an advocate for the sector through the nonprofit Satoshi Action Fund.

A miner based in Europe named Denis Rusinovich tweeted that the sharp decline in computer power is "Another indication that Bitcoin's geographical heterogeneity is crucial."

Next: Crypto Investors, Beware: Proof Of Reserve Audits Don't Prove Anything, SEC Warns

Photo via Shutterstock. 

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