US senator from Montana, Steve Daines recently stated that the closure of a local coal plant may greatly impact the booming Bitcoin (BTC-USD) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH-USD) mining industry in the state. All the four Colstrip coal plant units in Rosebud County will be shut down in 9 to 10 years.
According to Daines, Montana requires the low-cost, reliable energy for attracting Bitcoin mining companies on a regular basis. He stated, “As the demand for Bitcoin miners increases and supply of cheap, reliable electricity from coal generation decreases, this could pose a threat of the expansion of Bitcoin generation and even greater threat to the energy supply and prices for Montana as a whole.”
Bitcoin mining boom in Montana
Low energy costs have contributed to the boom in Bitcoin mining in the state. However, the state also has naturally cold temperatures thereby contributing to an increase in the number of Bitcoin mining firms in the region. Incidentally cooler temperatures reduce the expenses required for keeping the environment in the mining firm cool. In the last few years, the North American region in Western Montana has witnessed a massive boom in the development of Bitcoin mining facilities. With major firms such as CryptoWatt LLC operating in Butte, the region is one of the biggest Bitcoin mining hubs in the world.
CrytoWatt LLC gets its supply of 64MW from the Colstrip coal plant and is one of the biggest electricity users in Montana. Another establishment, the Bonner Bitcoin data center is one of the largest data centers in the world. It aims to promote its mining business activities in Missoula in Western Montana. Incidentally, the facility in Bonner is also planning to expand to 55,000 mining rigs. At present, Bonner has 12,000 mining rigs.
The views of Daines are related to the current situation and reliability of Bitcoin mining firms on a low-cost energy source. However, a decade from now on the view that cutting off Bitcoin mining operations due to the closure of coal mines can create a problem may not be applicable. Experts believe that in the years to come the Bitcoin mining field will become more efficient. The firms will have explored more and better options for low energy-cost mining by then.