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Biggest Texas Bitcoin Miner Shuts Down Ahead of Cold Blast

  • Riot’s Whinstone miner cuts most power as storm tests grid
  • Governor Abbott embraces miners’s plans as shoring up grid
Workers install a row of Bitcoin mining machines at the Whinstone Bitcoin mining facility in Rockdale, Texas.

Workers install a row of Bitcoin mining machines at the Whinstone Bitcoin mining facility in Rockdale, Texas.

Photographer: Mark Felix/AFP/Getty Images

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Crypto miner Riot Blockchain Inc. shut down most of its huge Bitcoin-making operation in Texas to conserve electricity as a wave of cold and ice deliver the biggest test of the state’s power grid since last year’s deadly blackouts.

On Tuesday morning, Riot voluntarily began to reduce power to Bitcoin mining servers at the Whinstone facility, located northeast of Austin, company spokesperson Trystine Payfer said by email. By Wednesday, the mine had cut energy use by roughly 98%. Riot Chief Executive Officer Jason Les and Whinstone CEO Chad Harris told Governor Greg Abbott’s office on Monday that they were preparing to curtail power use by Whinstone, the state’s largest Bitcoin miner, ahead of the winter storm.