Bitcoin (BTC) miners based in the United States will not have been spared the polar cold of recent days. Indeed, many mining firms had to shut down their production sites, which directly lowered the hashrate of the network, causing a temporary increase in the time it takes to finalize a block.
Bitcoin (BTC) miners hit by weather
The cold storm in the United States since last Thursday, which has deprived more than 300,000 Canadian and American homes of electricity, will also have impacted Bitcoin (BTC) miners.
While more than 70% of the American population was affected by winter weather warnings with freezing temperatures reaching -40°C in Canada and up to -30°C in the United States, North America found buried in snow and saw most of its electrical installations weakened.
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Therefore, BTC miners had to adjust their power grid usage in some states, especially in Texas, where temperatures fell well below the usual seasonal averages. Texas being the second American state in terms of hashratewith 11.2% of global shares, behind Georgia which alone produces 30.8% of the latter, many miners found themselves forced to at least partially stop their activity.
Thereby, Riot Blockchain took the initiative to temporarily close its facility located in the town of Rockdale, and Compass Mining announced on Friday that only one of its operating sites was still in operation. 2 other mining firms, namely Genesis Digital Assets and Rhodiummeanwhile said they were temporarily suspending 99% of their operations.
It should also be noted that on a larger scale, it is the American miners who hold the majority of the hashrate global, the latter holding 40% of the computing power necessary for the creation of blocks on the Bitcoin network.
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What impact on the hashrate of the network?
The United States now holds the majority of the hashrate world following the massive reduction in Bitcoin mining activity in China, these decisions were not without consequences. Effectively, the hashrate bitcoin hit its 12-month low on December 24, from 252.98 EH/s on December 21 to just 156.36 EH/s on Christmas Eve.
Hashrate (in orange) and price (in black) of Bitcoin over the last 6 months
The creation time of a block being inherent to the hashrate of the network, the latter also found itself considerably affected this weekend. Therefore, on December 24, block finalization time exceeded 16 minutes : unheard of since July 2021.
Finalization time of a block for the year 2022
However, the temperatures having risen and the weather forecast predicting much milder temperatures for this freshly started week, the hashrate was able to go upthe latter observing a current value of 227 PE/s.
Although such situations remain sporadic, they demonstrate how dependent Bitcoin miners are on the electrical grid and therefore how crucial it is that the computing power necessary for the proper functioning of the network is geographically scattered, as may have been the case. underline the minor Denis Rusinovich :
Bitcoin miners will need to be meteorologist nowdays as well.
Severe winter weather in North America impacted the biggest mining pool Foundry with approx 20 EH being switched off.
Another confirmation that bitcoin’s geographical diversification is vital! pic.twitter.com/snk36JX0w1
—Denis Rusinovich (@DenisRusinovich) December 25, 2022
“Bitcoin miners these days will also have to be meteorologists. Severe winter weather conditions in North America impacted the largest Foundry mining pool, with around 20 PE disabled. Further confirmation that geographic diversification of bitcoin is vital! »
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Sources: University of Cambridge, Glassnode, BitInfoCharts
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