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The crypto rush hits Texas

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In a warehouse, rows of bitcoin machine can be seen stored in cubicles with wires sticking out.

Bitcoin mining machines at the Whinstone US Bitcoin mining facility in Rockdale, Texas, in October 2021. (Mark Felix / AFP)

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Lately, we’ve been exploring cryptocurrency mining. The energy-intensive — and potentially quite lucrative — computing process that produces currencies like bitcoin.

Until last summer, China led the world in crypto mining — thanks in part to its hydroelectric infrastructure. Then, the Chinese government cracked down on crypto and many mining companies moved to countries wherever they could find cheap power, like Kazakhstan, Iran and … Texas.

The U.S. now leads the world in crypto mining.

And the Chinese companies weren’t the only ones to set up shop in the Lone Star State. Quite a few U.S. mining companies came there for the same reason: relatively cheap electricity.

One Texas town is betting the farm on crypto mining.

Note: This story was originally heard on “Marketplace.” You can read the web version here.

Related links: More insight from Kimberly Adams

We mentioned earlier how several crypto mining operations moved out of China and into Kazakhstan.

The non-profit news website Rest of World has an article on how the country initially welcomed miners after China banned them, but now restricts miners’ access to electricity due to the increase in power outages and blackouts there.

And some crypto miners in Texas have been sensitive to the energy situation there, especially after the winter storm last year causing major power outages across the state. CNBC notes that some businesses were voluntarily suspending mining in phases during another winter storm that hit the region in early February.

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