Bitcoin's price for 2024: trends for the year ahead.

Residents of a Texas town are complaining about the operations of a large bitcoin mining facility, saying it is not only affecting them personally but it also threatens to crash the entire state grid due to its large electricity consumption.

The Texas Tribune reported on the issue in Granbury, which is 40 miles from Fort Worth, as one resident said that "nobody in their right mind would live here" due to the loud noise it makes throughout the day. The person, Cheryl Sadden, added that she has suffered permanent hearing loss and her animals are showing erratic behavior as a result.

Local law enforcement has cited the company over 30 times for violating noise limits, but residents said there has not been any significant action to address the issue. A wall has been built on a side of the facility to mitigate the noise, but Sadden said the sound reverberates off it, and it can be heard miles away in certain conditions.

The mine, operated by Marathon Digital, is one of several that have opened in the state, where "taxes are low, land is plentiful and mining companies can take advantage of the state's deregulated energy market," the outlet explained. It added that Texas now holds 10 of the largest 34 bitcoin mines in the country.

Another disadvantage for residents is the fact that increased electricity use can mean higher bills for everyone. As bitcoin needs large computing power to solve the complex algorithms needed to continue validating transactions in its blockchain, the mine's hundreds of computers run day and night with that purpose.

Every time a miner successfully create a block, they receive 3.125 bitcoin (a little over $170,000 at the current price), the current fee for helping keep the network secure. And as companies compete to get the reward, the algorithms get increasingly difficult to solve, elevating the amount of electricity needed to solve them.

In that context, lawmakers are increasingly worried the state's grid will have a tough time staying operative during heat or cold waves, when Texans are called to conserve power. "It can't be the Wild Wild West of data centers and crypto miners crashing our grid and turning the lights off," said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick after a public hearing regarding the mines' energy consumption.

The recently-released Republican policy platform says that, should Donald Trump be elected to the White House in November, it will "defend the right to mine Bitcoin."

Trump has also declared that he wants all the remaining unmined Bitcoins to be produced by American miners, saying it is a means toward turning the United States into an "energy dominant" nation.

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