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(Slate)   Add "crypto mining boom" to the list of things that might bring down the Texas power grid, which currently includes excessive heat, excessive cold, moderate temperatures, wind, rain, customers using A/C, customers using heat, and bad thoughts   (slate.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Power outage, Texas, Texas power grid, Smart grid, crypto mining, past year, Texas Monthly reporter Russell Gold, large-scale crypto mines  
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341 clicks; posted to Business » and Main » on 16 Aug 2022 at 10:50 AM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



35 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-08-16 9:22:39 AM  
Didn't Abbott blame the power outage on abortion? Or was that Dan Patrick?

Now that abortion is illegal, the grid will be fine.
 
2022-08-16 9:29:54 AM  
What's the next hazard for the TX power grid? I got my money on "Customers boiling their water."
 
2022-08-16 9:49:06 AM  
My BIL, who is a certified lineman (who now works mostly in safety) told me crypto mining rigs were a problem years ago.  They were a problem with neighborhood power systems - frying lines and transformers and such.

But I would like to see how this compares to the amount of energy required to cool a 3500sqft+ house in a neighborhood where all the fully grown trees were mowed down during development.  *That* has to be tasking the grid more than anything.  But oh no, we don't want to regulate those billion dollar housing companies...even if it is to protect our cheap-as-shiat grid where half-a-neighborhood can get taken out by a farking squirrel.
 
2022-08-16 10:54:57 AM  

UberDave: My BIL, who is a certified lineman (who now works mostly in safety) told me crypto mining rigs were a problem years ago.  They were a problem with neighborhood power systems - frying lines and transformers and such.

But I would like to see how this compares to the amount of energy required to cool a 3500sqft+ house in a neighborhood where all the fully grown trees were mowed down during development.  *That* has to be tasking the grid more than anything.  But oh no, we don't want to regulate those billion dollar housing companies...even if it is to protect our cheap-as-shiat grid where half-a-neighborhood can get taken out by a farking squirrel.


Does your BIL drive the main road, searchin' in the sun for another overload?
 
2022-08-16 10:59:02 AM  
You mean the state with an unstable power grid that BEGGED THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD (crypto) to make their state home is having issues?

Good.

Morons.
 
2022-08-16 10:59:57 AM  
Subby, you left out "Attacks by Squirrel-Qaeda".
 
2022-08-16 11:05:54 AM  
"...and that's why wokeness caused the power grid to fail."

- a texas asshole, eventually
 
2022-08-16 11:14:29 AM  

UberDave: My BIL, who is a certified lineman (who now works mostly in safety) told me crypto mining rigs were a problem years ago.  They were a problem with neighborhood power systems - frying lines and transformers and such.

But I would like to see how this compares to the amount of energy required to cool a 3500sqft+ house in a neighborhood where all the fully grown trees were mowed down during development.  *That* has to be tasking the grid more than anything.  But oh no, we don't want to regulate those billion dollar housing companies...even if it is to protect our cheap-as-shiat grid where half-a-neighborhood can get taken out by a farking squirrel.


The TX power grid has two major flaws.  First, it's independent of the rest of the country so they can't draw power from regions with excess capacity.
Second is that the grid is managed by lackeys of state elected officials.  They also passed a law where energy demand drives surge pricing in real time with an absurd, bankruptcy inducing high cap to price per kW/hr.  One of the primary investors is Senator Ted Cruz's wife, a Goldman Sachs general fund manager.
So adding crypto to an already mismanaged grid will end with subsidies given to crypto miners at the cost of residential customers who will then have to shut off their electricity in the summer or winter when demand makes electricity unaffordable (the crypto bros will make peak pricing occur much much earlier on the residential demand load than otherwise).
As a reference, Bitcoin alone consumes more electricity than all of Australia.
 
2022-08-16 11:15:04 AM  
They went out of their way to court the crypto scammers without considering the mind-boggling amount of power they waste... with their already unstable grid. Yeah, there's no way that ends well.
 
2022-08-16 11:24:42 AM  

trerro: They went out of their way to court the crypto scammers without considering the mind-boggling amount of power they waste... with their already unstable grid. Yeah, there's no way that ends well.


The collapse of the state of Texas sounds like a pretty good ending to me. Here's hoping they do Florida next
 
2022-08-16 11:27:21 AM  
Texas has a good deal of wind power, which at times helps to drive wholesale electric prices to zero.  If you mine during the extreme pricing lows, and all your other costs are low enough that you can absorb the idle time when prices are high, then it is a good place to relocate your mining rigs.

The problem is that mining folks also mine when prices are higher, so they drive up prices for everyone else and cause issues like this.  And that's before you get into all the other problems with cryptocurrencies.
 
2022-08-16 11:28:00 AM  

trerro: They went out of their way to court the crypto scammers without considering the mind-boggling amount of power they waste... with their already unstable grid. Yeah, there's no way that ends well.


Don't say "they". Say, "Certain idiots in Texas."  'Cause not all Texans are on board with this.

/ Not on Texas grid
// East Texas, Eastern Interconnect.
/// Three
 
2022-08-16 11:32:10 AM  

UberDave: But I would like to see how this compares to the amount of energy required to cool a 3500sqft+ house in a neighborhood where all the fully grown trees were mowed down during development.


This is a VERY hard question to answer as the amount of energy consumed by mining is going to depend on how big your mining rig is, and how many, and etc etc.

Crypto mining in general uses more electricity than argentina.

Alright let's get specific and talk bitcoin because it's easier to find.

A rig with three GPUs can consume 1,000 watts of power or more when it's running, the equivalent of having a medium-size window AC unit turned on.  ... The Digiconomist's Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index estimated that one bitcoin transaction takes 1,449 kWh to complete, or the equivalent of approximately 50 days of power for the average US household.

Alright, so one bitcoin is just under two months of electricity for an average household. But you gave specifics.

Average power bill for 3500sqft in Texas is $256.11/mo, with Avg energy consumption = 950 kWh per month

So, looking at this data, I would say that running a bitcoin mining rig, depending on how many rigs and how much AC you have to use so things don't catch on fire, is about 75% of a 3500sqft house a month.

/very surface level sources
//ymmv
///a lot of miners have LOTS of rigs, so
 
2022-08-16 11:35:58 AM  
We're having a ghastly Summer too.  I'm surprised we haven't had a massive failure.

I keep reading this will be the new norm because climate change.  I can't even imagine.  (and Great Lakes, here I come if it's true.)

It's always hot in Texas, but this is extra, with drought thrown in as well.  Used to be a 30 year event.  That is changing apparently.  Ugh.
 
2022-08-16 11:42:54 AM  

Northern: UberDave: My BIL, who is a certified lineman (who now works mostly in safety) told me crypto mining rigs were a problem years ago.  They were a problem with neighborhood power systems - frying lines and transformers and such.

But I would like to see how this compares to the amount of energy required to cool a 3500sqft+ house in a neighborhood where all the fully grown trees were mowed down during development.  *That* has to be tasking the grid more than anything.  But oh no, we don't want to regulate those billion dollar housing companies...even if it is to protect our cheap-as-shiat grid where half-a-neighborhood can get taken out by a farking squirrel.

The TX power grid has two major flaws.  First, it's independent of the rest of the country so they can't draw power from regions with excess capacity.
Second is that the grid is managed by lackeys of state elected officials.  They also passed a law where energy demand drives surge pricing in real time with an absurd, bankruptcy inducing high cap to price per kW/hr.  One of the primary investors is Senator Ted Cruz's wife, a Goldman Sachs general fund manager.
So adding crypto to an already mismanaged grid will end with subsidies given to crypto miners at the cost of residential customers who will then have to shut off their electricity in the summer or winter when demand makes electricity unaffordable (the crypto bros will make peak pricing occur much much earlier on the residential demand load than otherwise).
As a reference, Bitcoin alone consumes more electricity than all of Australia.


Let's all welcome Abbot's pick for head of ERCOT - Pablo Vegas!

Fark user imageView Full Size

His name was leaked a few hours ago.
 
2022-08-16 11:44:07 AM  

Northern: UberDave: My BIL, who is a certified lineman (who now works mostly in safety) told me crypto mining rigs were a problem years ago.  They were a problem with neighborhood power systems - frying lines and transformers and such.

But I would like to see how this compares to the amount of energy required to cool a 3500sqft+ house in a neighborhood where all the fully grown trees were mowed down during development.  *That* has to be tasking the grid more than anything.  But oh no, we don't want to regulate those billion dollar housing companies...even if it is to protect our cheap-as-shiat grid where half-a-neighborhood can get taken out by a farking squirrel.

The TX power grid has two major flaws.  First, it's independent of the rest of the country so they can't draw power from regions with excess capacity.
Second is that the grid is managed by lackeys of state elected officials.  They also passed a law where energy demand drives surge pricing in real time with an absurd, bankruptcy inducing high cap to price per kW/hr.  One of the primary investors is Senator Ted Cruz's wife, a Goldman Sachs general fund manager.
So adding crypto to an already mismanaged grid will end with subsidies given to crypto miners at the cost of residential customers who will then have to shut off their electricity in the summer or winter when demand makes electricity unaffordable (the crypto bros will make peak pricing occur much much earlier on the residential demand load than otherwise).
As a reference, Bitcoin alone consumes more electricity than all of Australia.


How many football stadiums is Australia?
 
2022-08-16 12:56:24 PM  
Cryptobros flailing their arms and telling you all fhat you don't understand in 3...2...1...
 
2022-08-16 12:58:21 PM  
You just don't understand the technology.  Have you read The Whitepaper?
 
2022-08-16 1:38:01 PM  
The debt toll ranges from a government-estimated 246 people to more than 700.

Damn. And I heard a few people died as well.
 
2022-08-16 2:00:59 PM  

Ketchuponsteak: Northern: UberDave: My BIL, who is a certified lineman (who now works mostly in safety) told me crypto mining rigs were a problem years ago.  They were a problem with neighborhood power systems - frying lines and transformers and such.

But I would like to see how this compares to the amount of energy required to cool a 3500sqft+ house in a neighborhood where all the fully grown trees were mowed down during development.  *That* has to be tasking the grid more than anything.  But oh no, we don't want to regulate those billion dollar housing companies...even if it is to protect our cheap-as-shiat grid where half-a-neighborhood can get taken out by a farking squirrel.

The TX power grid has two major flaws.  First, it's independent of the rest of the country so they can't draw power from regions with excess capacity.
Second is that the grid is managed by lackeys of state elected officials.  They also passed a law where energy demand drives surge pricing in real time with an absurd, bankruptcy inducing high cap to price per kW/hr.  One of the primary investors is Senator Ted Cruz's wife, a Goldman Sachs general fund manager.
So adding crypto to an already mismanaged grid will end with subsidies given to crypto miners at the cost of residential customers who will then have to shut off their electricity in the summer or winter when demand makes electricity unaffordable (the crypto bros will make peak pricing occur much much earlier on the residential demand load than otherwise).
As a reference, Bitcoin alone consumes more electricity than all of Australia.

How many football stadiums is Australia?


There are a lot of football stadiums in Australia.  Some are pretty cool.
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-16 2:26:33 PM  
Once Ethereum moves to Proof of Stake, that will only leave the dinosaur Bitcoin is the major mined coin.

Hopefully it will bring more attention to coins with actual utility besides 'sell it to the next schmuck for a profit' instead of the mass of speculation we have now.
 
2022-08-16 3:27:34 PM  

GriffXX: Once Ethereum moves to Proof of Stake, that will only leave the dinosaur Bitcoin is the major mined coin.

Hopefully it will bring more attention to coins with actual utility besides 'sell it to the next schmuck for a profit' instead of the mass of speculation we have now.


BTC is mineable with current hardware/electricity prices at around 5000USD. In 2024 that will change to 10000USD with the same hardware, but, I assume new hardware is constantly developed.

Just something I looked up because I was curious.

I agree that coins with actual utility is nice, like BTC was before the fee rose to 7USD for one payment.
 
2022-08-16 3:47:01 PM  

Northern: The TX power grid has two major flaws. First, it's independent of the rest of the country so they can't draw power from regions with excess capacity.
Second is that the grid is managed by lackeys of state elected officials. They also passed a law where energy demand drives surge pricing in real time with an absurd, bankruptcy inducing high cap to price per kW/hr. One of the primary investors is Senator Ted Cruz's wife, a Goldman Sachs general fund manager.


The second problem is the bigger one, in my opinion.  It's a nasty feedback loop-- the power companies make orders of magnitude more money when demand starts to exceed supply and pricing goes to the moon.  So they of course want that to happen as often as possible, which means they have HUGE incentive to never build extra generation capacity, or do more than the minimum required maintenance, and so on.  Anything that creates a shortage benefits them directly.  They make more money not fixing things and not building new capacity than they do by doing the things a normal, sane person would do.
 
2022-08-16 3:53:23 PM  

ChibiDebuHage: Cryptobros flailing their arms and telling you all fhat you don't understand in 3...2...1...


That is what Libertarians of all stripes do when someone points out a flaw in their ideology.
 
2022-08-16 7:10:59 PM  
Wasn't there an article here recently how bitcoin miners in Texas buy blocks/rights (not sure if this is the correct word) of/to electricity from the power grid and when the grid gets put under greater strain, they sell some of their blocks back to the power company for more than they purchased originally?
 
2022-08-16 7:44:14 PM  

Gnaglor: Wasn't there an article here recently how bitcoin miners in Texas buy blocks/rights (not sure if this is the correct word) of/to electricity from the power grid and when the grid gets put under greater strain, they sell some of their blocks back to the power company for more than they purchased originally?


Yep.  All part of the same feedback loop that keeps making everything worse.  The Texas grid is most profitable during times of shortage.  This means the power companies have no interest in building capacity or doing maintenance or anything that could alleviate shortages-- because the high-demand pricing gives them massive profit for the same power.

But now, it's not JUST the power companies that benefit from shortages.  There's a pile of crypto-bros who ALSO profit from poorly-maintained, undersized grid infrastructure.  The more people who profit from Texas' intentionally crappy grid management the harder it will be to undo the incredibly stupid setup they currently have.
 
2022-08-16 7:56:11 PM  

DecemberNitro: "...and that's why wokeness caused the power grid to fail."

- a texas asshole, eventually


Texass hole
 
2022-08-17 7:13:52 AM  

GriffXX: Once Ethereum moves to Proof of Stake, that will only leave the dinosaur Bitcoin is the major mined coin.

Hopefully it will bring more attention to coins with actual utility besides 'sell it to the next schmuck for a profit' instead of the mass of speculation we have now.


They all have that feature. Crypto is an economic dead end.
 
2022-08-17 11:50:22 AM  

raygundan: Northern: The TX power grid has two major flaws. First, it's independent of the rest of the country so they can't draw power from regions with excess capacity.
Second is that the grid is managed by lackeys of state elected officials. They also passed a law where energy demand drives surge pricing in real time with an absurd, bankruptcy inducing high cap to price per kW/hr. One of the primary investors is Senator Ted Cruz's wife, a Goldman Sachs general fund manager.

The second problem is the bigger one, in my opinion.  It's a nasty feedback loop-- the power companies make orders of magnitude more money when demand starts to exceed supply and pricing goes to the moon.  So they of course want that to happen as often as possible, which means they have HUGE incentive to never build extra generation capacity, or do more than the minimum required maintenance, and so on.  Anything that creates a shortage benefits them directly.  They make more money not fixing things and not building new capacity than they do by doing the things a normal, sane person would do.


Greedy utilities and a dysfunctional grid are why Texas electricity prices are among the highest in the country.

The only states with higher electricity prices are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/
 
2022-08-17 12:23:03 PM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: GriffXX: Once Ethereum moves to Proof of Stake, that will only leave the dinosaur Bitcoin is the major mined coin.

Hopefully it will bring more attention to coins with actual utility besides 'sell it to the next schmuck for a profit' instead of the mass of speculation we have now.

They all have that feature. Crypto is an economic dead end.


For getting rich quick - I agree. But there are a bunch of web3 projects with actual usefulness that have tokens involved that are pretty exciting. FYI, I am not an investor but an accidental expert in the space.
 
2022-08-17 2:27:56 PM  

GriffXX: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: GriffXX: Once Ethereum moves to Proof of Stake, that will only leave the dinosaur Bitcoin is the major mined coin.

Hopefully it will bring more attention to coins with actual utility besides 'sell it to the next schmuck for a profit' instead of the mass of speculation we have now.

They all have that feature. Crypto is an economic dead end.

For getting rich quick - I agree. But there are a bunch of web3 projects with actual usefulness that have tokens involved that are pretty exciting. FYI, I am not an investor but an accidental expert in the space.


What problem does blockchain solve that can't be done faster or cheaper with a basic database software kit you can buy from Oracle, IBM, or Micrsoft?
 
2022-08-17 2:29:22 PM  

CCNP: raygundan: Northern: The TX power grid has two major flaws. First, it's independent of the rest of the country so they can't draw power from regions with excess capacity.
Second is that the grid is managed by lackeys of state elected officials. They also passed a law where energy demand drives surge pricing in real time with an absurd, bankruptcy inducing high cap to price per kW/hr. One of the primary investors is Senator Ted Cruz's wife, a Goldman Sachs general fund manager.

The second problem is the bigger one, in my opinion.  It's a nasty feedback loop-- the power companies make orders of magnitude more money when demand starts to exceed supply and pricing goes to the moon.  So they of course want that to happen as often as possible, which means they have HUGE incentive to never build extra generation capacity, or do more than the minimum required maintenance, and so on.  Anything that creates a shortage benefits them directly.  They make more money not fixing things and not building new capacity than they do by doing the things a normal, sane person would do.

Greedy utilities and a dysfunctional grid are why Texas electricity prices are among the highest in the country.

The only states with higher electricity prices are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/


Did you accidentally reply to the wrong person?  The dysfunctional system in Texas works by encouraging power companies to reduce spending on spare capacity and maintenance.  The occasional price spike from their self-induced shortages is a nice bonus for them, but it doesn't move the average price much.  The problem isn't that the prices are high, currently, it's that the dysfunction rewards poor planning and maintenance with higher profitability.
 
2022-08-17 5:01:24 PM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: GriffXX: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: GriffXX: Once Ethereum moves to Proof of Stake, that will only leave the dinosaur Bitcoin is the major mined coin.

Hopefully it will bring more attention to coins with actual utility besides 'sell it to the next schmuck for a profit' instead of the mass of speculation we have now.

They all have that feature. Crypto is an economic dead end.

For getting rich quick - I agree. But there are a bunch of web3 projects with actual usefulness that have tokens involved that are pretty exciting. FYI, I am not an investor but an accidental expert in the space.

What problem does blockchain solve that can't be done faster or cheaper with a basic database software kit you can buy from Oracle, IBM, or Micrsoft?


Kinda a big question, but I'll give just one example : authentication.

In the beginning of the web, every site had to manage a massive list of usernames and passwords (and all the storage and security around that.) With 'web2' that's offloaded mostly to functions that login with 'Connect with Google/Twitter/Facebook/Etc'.

With 'web3' and blockchain, there is no need to maintain any of that data or track users. It's definitely cheaper than buying/storing/securing/maintaining a traditional database.
 
2022-08-17 5:42:09 PM  

GriffXX: With 'web3' and blockchain, there is no need to maintain any of that data or track users.

every site had to manage a massive list of usernames and passwords (and all the storage and security around that.)

...
definitely cheaper than buying/storing/securing/maintaining a traditional database

EVERY site? Really? How many sites out there do you think have over oh, even, an incredibly successful 100,000 username/passwords?

Do you have any idea how little storage space it takes to store a list of even 1,000,000 usernames and passwords, a number of users which is incredibly rare among websites? Even storing that redundantly several times over costs next to nothing.

If I'm a "big" website owner, "big" business owner, my users, my clients are everything:
I WANT to manage my users and their passwords. They mean everything to me.

I DON'T WANT my users and their passwords on some public ledger where every entry and every updated entry will remain forever. Many of my users won't want that either.

I DON'T WANT to gamble with encryption tech and encryption-breaking tech that can one day come along and play with permanent entries on the public ledger.

I DON'T WANT to gamble with one of the endless number of blockchain and related tool hacks or security flaws which are making the news on a daily basis.

I definitely DON'T WANT to depend on blockchain for "fast" experience on my website. Any slow blockchain lookup/update/ traffic and retrieval of data means unhappy users on my site. I have no control over that. NO GOOD.

My users DON'T WANT their login info to persist for eternity, long after my website has shut down or they've decided to kill their account.

>With 'web3' and blockchain, there is no need to maintain any of that data or track users

Yes there is still a need, but you're just banking on a network of computers that other people are mostly paying for, to hold your data.

NO GOOD. If I'm serious about my business, I want to maintain my own client info, and they want me to as well.
 
2022-08-17 6:59:29 PM  

ChibiDebuHage: GriffXX: With 'web3' and blockchain, there is no need to maintain any of that data or track users.


Sigh.

It was just one example.

EVERY site? Really? How many sites out there do you think have over oh, even, an incredibly successful 100,000 username/passwords?

Do you have any idea how little storage space it takes to store a list of even 1,000,000 usernames and passwords, a number of users which is incredibly rare among websites? Even storing that redundantly several times over costs next to nothing.


The goal was 'give an example of how it's faster or cheaper - so I did. Eliminating it is faster and cheaper if we're talking literally removing it.

If I'm a "big" website owner, "big" business owner, my users, my clients are everything:
I WANT to manage my users and their passwords. They mean everything to me.


You can still interact with your users without having to maintain any sensitive info yourself.

I DON'T WANT my users and their passwords on some public ledger where every entry and every updated entry will remain forever. Many of my users won't want that either.

Never said the user/pass was on a public ledger. it isn't. You're ranting about technology without understanding it.

I DON'T WANT to gamble with encryption tech and encryption-breaking tech that can one day come along and play with permanent entries on the public ledger.

I have bad news for you on 'gambling with encryption tech' with how the Internet as a whole runs...let's hope TLS 1.3 actually helps instead of hurts.

I DON'T WANT to gamble with one of the endless number of blockchain and related tool hacks or security flaws which are making the news on a daily basis.

I have some more bad news for you about Equifax, Target, PlayStation, Yahoo, Marriott, eBay, Uber, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shied, Facebook, UPS, Chase Bank, Tumblr and on and on (shout out Mythic Quest. That list in that scene always cracks me up). With web3 in it's infancy, yeah there are gonna be breaches, but that doesn't mean we throw out the baby with the bathwater. There's breaches all the time time and it's getting worse. Web3 is no exception.

I definitely DON'T WANT to depend on blockchain for "fast" experience on my website. Any slow blockchain lookup/update/ traffic and retrieval of data means unhappy users on my site. I have no control over that. NO GOOD.

Plenty of fast cheap blockchains on the come-up right now. It's why Disney picked one to be part of it's accelerator program.

My users DON'T WANT their login info to persist for eternity, long after my website has shut down or they've decided to kill their account.

I'm not saying web3 is the best thing since sliced bread, but there are definitely some cool projects in the works. You're kinda just relating the authentication process with 'login info' when really it's just a wallet connecting. You can create a brand new one just for a single website if you're that concerned about removing footprints.

Whatever, man, you've clearly made up your mind. :)
 
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