As cryptocurrencies become more prevalent, more people and organizations are jumping on the bandwagon and mining them. This often sparks backlash from the events surrounding the movement.
Among the communities that would come under query due to the rise of crypto mining is the city of Corsicana in Texas. According to a report by The Dallas Morning Information, Riot Blockchain is currently constructing the largest mining facility for Bitcoin in the world in Corsicana.
One of the biggest mining companies in the world plans to use a high-voltage transmission line to power its facility. Explaining the company's decision to locate its facility in Texas, Chad Harris, Riot Blockchain's chief business officer, said that it chose this location due to its strategic resources.
The company's new facility, which is expected to be bigger than its current facility in Rockdale, will have a capacity of up to 1 gigawatt. According to the report, this energy could power around 300,000 to 1 million houses.
Resistance to mining
Despite the company's assurances that the project would not affect the local community, some residents are still skeptical about its intentions. Jackie Sawicky, the local community chief, stated that she doubts the project's viability.
According to Sawicky, the company is taking advantage of the local resources available to them. She also questioned how the project would benefit the community.
Sawicky also thinks that cryptocurrencies are a scam similar to a pyramid scheme. She stated that people would buy something from a retailer instead of investing in them.
One of the community's concerns is the potential impact of the mining facility on the local water supply. Due to the drought in the area, the company might be able to use the facility's cooling tools when the water supply is at its lowest.
Through a Facebook page known as the "Involved Residents of Navarro Nation," the area residents have been organizing against the mining facility. A petition opposing the project has already gathered over 600 signatures.
Contradicting the residents' concerns, the company's chief operating officer said that most residents are optimistic about the project.
Harris also said that the company's potential employees could earn up to $35 an hour. The landowner, on the other hand, reportedly preferred to promote his property to the mining company as a result of the potential jobs that it would create.
How mining affects bills
A study by the University of California Berkeley in 2021 revealed that mining could increase the electricity bills of individuals and small businesses by about $8 and $12, respectively. However, Susan Hale, the city councilwoman for the town of Corsicana, said that she doesn't think the electricity bills in the area will go up due to the unique market conditions in Texas.
According to Lee Bratcher, the head of the Texas Blockchain Council, he doesn't think the company can guarantee that its mining facility won't increase the electricity bills in the area. He said that the facility could cause the prices to go down, the prices could stay the same, or the prices could rise slightly.
Mike Hoke, a representative of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, said that the electricity rates in the state are influenced by various factors. He noted that a large electricity user such as Riot Blockchain would not be able to directly affect the local electricity rates.
According to Harris, mining can help balance the electricity supply and demand on the grid by taking as much power as they can use during non-peak periods. When the grid can't handle the demand during peak demand, the miners sell their power back to the grid.