Miners and other cryptocurrency investors took over Austin for one of the best cryptocurrency and mining conferences of the year last week. The Texas Blockchain Council organized the Texas Blockchain Summit with an incredible list of individual speakers and panel discussions.
Here’s a summary of some key moments from the conference that highlight its quality and breadth of speaker expertise.
Ted Cruz’s Fireside Chat
A key highlight of the conference was watching Sen. Ted Cruz spoke candidly about his optimism and surprisingly deep understanding of the cryptocurrency mining industry, it’s potential growth, and the benefits it offers the Texas economy. The conversation ranged from how miners benefit energy markets and power grids to the unique advantages Texas regulators and energy markets can give to mining companies.
Sen. Cruz’ fireside chat wasn’t officially recorded, but an attendee posted a video of the conversation here on YouTube.
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This panel wasn’t the Senator’s first foray into speaking boldly about cryptocurrency mining. In August, he slammed the US Senate for their incompetence in understanding the nascent industry of cryptocurrency mining and their failure to draft fair and plain language for addressing it in the proposed infrastructure bill. Watch his remarks here.
The Crypto Regulation Panel
Regulation has been front of mind for most cryptocurrency miners this year as state-level policymakers scramble to attract miners and national-level lawmakers (in China and the US) offer different types of scares to miners around the world.
On a panel called “Digital Assets Policies in the United States,” a mix of investors, lawyers, regulators, and academics discussed the future of regulation in the US for miners and crypto broadly. In contrast to the harsh approach taken by other countries like China, the panel generally agreed that the US is striving to attract, not repel, cryptocurrency companies. One of the most interesting dynamics of this state-level courtship process is the competition between many states to offer the best incentives and environment for crypto companies, especially miners.
Charles Cooper, the Texas Department of Banking Chairman, was also a notable guest on the panel.
Nic Carter’s Mining Presentation
The conference’s first keynote address was delivered by venture capitalist Nic Carter on the cryptocurrency mining industry in North America. Carter’s slides and remarks summarized several large, popular trends in the mining industry, including off-grid flaring activity, state-level hubs of mining (e.g., Texas and Wyoming), and the ways in which energy market participants and cryptocurrency miners are forming unique and productive partnerships across Canada and the US.
After his presentation, Carter made his slides publicly available here.
Texas Mining Panel
The conference’s mining conversation converged on a packed panel of miners from Rhodium, Compass, Argo, Whinstone, and Core Scientific. All the panelists spoke to this year’s surge in North American mining growth and investment, which was amplified by Q2’s crackdown on mining from China. Specifically in Texas, mining companies are rushing to set up offices and mining farms from small-scale off-grid mining startups to mega-mining public companies like Riot.
Other Politicians Who Spoke
Beyond a stellar lineup of cryptocurrency industry thought leaders and iconic founders, the Texas Blockchain Summit also boasted a large roster of elected officials who spoke candidly about their optimism for the future of cryptocurrency (and mining specifically, in some cases).
The list of politicians who spoke includes:
- Rep. Tan Parker (R-TX)
- Rep. Gio Capriglione (R-TX)
- Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
- Rep. Penny Shaw (D-TX)
- Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
- Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH)
SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce also delivered the conference’s closing keynote address.