Central Washington could once again become a magnet for Bitcoin miners, according to a report published by the Seattle Times.
John Stoll, the director of customer service at Chelan County’s public utility district, says that his PUD is yet to see an outpouring of demand but they are certainly preparing for it.
“We haven’t seen that, but definitely we are keeping our radar up.”
Miners are not welcome
Because of its cheap hydroelectricity that comes from Columbia River Basin dams, the rural Washington became a major hub for Bitcoin mining during the previous bull cycle.
Back then, local utilities were scrambling to meet skyrocketing demand for electricity when miners started sucking up cheap energy from the area.
After Bitcoin crashed in 2018, there was an exodus of miners, with the number of approved customers dropping to just six.
Most of them might not return this time around in spite of Bitcoin’s recent ascent to $42,000. Local PUDs no longer offer them extremely cheap electricity rates.
Central Washington is also not eager to welcome new miners due to Bitcoin’s inherent volatility, Stoll says:
“The biggest concern we have is somebody coming in, we build 50 megawatts’ worth of capacity for them, bitcoin prices change, and then they just leave.”
Another possible reason why miners are not flocking to the region this time around is Bitcoin’s rapidly growing mining difficulty that forces miners to scale up their operations or seek places with even cheaper electricity such as Texas.
Bitcoin mining difficulty jumped 11 percent on Jan. 9 at block 665,280, surging above 20.6 trillion.