Crypto miners are preparing for what could be a volatile weekend in the U.S. as a brutal winter storm brought bitter temperatures and power outages across much of the country.
"Please be prepared for some ups and downs this weekend as we deal with the winter storm," Neil Galloway, the Director of Mining Operations at Compass Mining, said on Twitter, adding that sites in Texas were offline. "Because your miner is offline, people can heat their homes and cook."
Riot Blockchain said that it was closing down its Rockdale facility in Texas because of extreme weather conditions. Core Scientific, which filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this week, said it would be "participating in multiple power curtailments to help stabilize the electrical grid."
"BTC production is expected to decrease during this time," the company said on Twitter.
The National Weather Service reported blizzard conditions and an "arctic blast" from the Midwest to Northeast, with Lake-effect snow around the Great Lakes region. Temperatures will be 25 to 35 degrees below average from the region east of the Rockies to the Appalachians, while gusty winds will produce "dangerously cold wind chills" across central and eastern parts of the U.S. over the holiday weekend.
"In some spots, the wind gusts could approach or exceed 60 MPH resulting in damage and power outages." the agency said. "These winds atop existing snow cover will produce ground blizzards."
PowerOutage.us, a website that tracks power outages in the U.S., already was showing that hundreds of thousands of clients were without power on Friday afternoon. The outages appeared to be worst in Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina.
A utility in Tennessee asked customers to reduce consumption, while some users on Twitter reported spiking spot prices.
"Miners off, furnace back on," one user wrote, saying the temperature had plunged to -4 degrees Fahrenheit. "Yes, that's 5-min spike to $1.12/kWh."
With reporting assistance from Catarina Moura.
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