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Bitcoin Mining Frozen by North American Storm

Mining hash rate drops 40% as US miners power down during North American storm to support electricity grids.

Bitcoin logo on the snow
Bitcoin logo on the snow

A powerful storm that swept North America over the weekend caused miners across the United States to power down their operations. According to data from, the Bitcoin mining hash rate, the scale of computing power on the blockchain, dropped by around 100 exahash per second (EH/s), or 40%, to 156 EH/s between December 21 and December 24. The hash rate returned to about 250 EH/s as of December 25. This practice, known as curtailment, is a way for miners to support electricity grids by reducing their demand for power during times of high need from other sources, such as during winter storms. Foundry USA, one of the largest mining pools in the United States, lost more than half of its hash rate on December 23, the most significant loss of any primary collection, according to statistics from Mining Pool Stats. Digital Currency Group, the parent corporation of CoinDesk, owns the foundry. Some of the United States' largest miners, including Riot Blockchain and Core Scientific, also curtailed their operations, with 99% of industrial-scale Bitcoin mining load in Texas being turned off at 6 a.m. on Saturday, according to Lee Bratcher, the founder, and president of industry group Texas Blockchain Council. The arctic storm, which brought temperatures as low as -50°F (-45°C) to Montana and covered western New York state with as much as 43 inches of snow, has been linked to at least 37 deaths, according to CNN. Dennis Porter, an advocate for the industry through the non-profit group Satoshi Action Fund, argued that the miners' curtailment demonstrates their support for the electric grid.