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Cryptomining Capacity in U.S. Rivals Energy Use of Houston

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A bitcoin mining facility in Texas.

Members of Congress are examining the environmental impact of virtual currencies.

Credit: Mark Felix/Agence France-Presse/Getty

A Congressional probe found seven of the largest U.S. bitcoin mining companies could cumulatively use as much electricity as all the homes in Houston.

The findings indicated the firms could tap up to 1,045 megawatts of power, and the companies said they intend to dramatically expand their capacity.

Cryptomining enterprise Marathon Digital Holdings told the investigating committee it ran nearly 33,000 "mining rigs" as of February, up from slightly over 2,000 at the start of last year; the company plans to grow that number to 199,000 rigs by early 2023.

The seven biggest cryptominers expected to boost their mining capacity by at least 2,399 megawatts in the years ahead, a nearly 230% gain from current levels.

From The New York Times
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