Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Great Mining Migration

China's Cryptocurrency Crackdown has been dramatically effective. The total hashrate dropped by over a half from its peak before recovering. As I write it is still down about 15% from the peak.

The latest figures from the Cambridge Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index provide more detail on what happened. In May China was producing 70.9 Exahash/sec and 44% of the total, as against 75% in 2019. In July, it produced none, triggering the collapse in the hash rate.

The gradual recovery happened as the containers of mining rigs reached their destinations, which by August were mostly in the US (42.7 Exahash/sec), Kazakhstan (21.9 Exahash/sec) and Canada (11.5 Exhash/sec).

If the migration continues to favor the US and Canada, which as of August accounted for about 45% of the total, it would bring closer the ability of Western nations to turn off Bitcoin, as outlined in Unstoppable Code?.


David. said...

Bloomberg's Hundreds of Banned Crypto Miners Were Siphoning Power at China’s State Firms reveals:

"Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces recently started targeting miners who were consuming the resources of state-owned enterprises, government agencies, and universities and research institutes, according to a government statement and media reports that did not name the entities.

Jiangsu found about one-fifth of some 4,500 internet protocol addresses associated with illegal mining activity belonged to public institutions, according to the media outlet The Paper, which cited provincial communications authorities. Some 260,000 kilowatt hours of electricity were being used per day, the newspaper added."

David. said...

The FT reports that China’s exiled crypto machines fuel global mining boom:

"Fourteen of the biggest crypto mining companies in the world have moved more than 2m machines out of China in the months following the ban, according to data gathered by the Financial Times. The lion's share of machines was hastily moved to the US, Canada, Kazakhstan and Russia."

David. said...

Tom Bateman reports that Europe must ban Bitcoin mining to hit the 1.5C Paris climate goal, say Swedish regulators:

"Faced with a sharp rise in energy consumption, Swedish authorities are calling on the European Union to ban "energy intensive" crypto mining.

Erik Thedéen, director of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, and Björn Risinger, director of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, said cryptocurrency's rising energy usage is threatening Sweden's ability to meet its obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Between April and August this year, the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining in the Nordic country rose "several hundred per cent," and now consumes the equivalent electricity of 200,000 households, Thedéen and Risinger said."

David. said...

Tom Bateman follows up with Norway could back European Bitcoin mining ban, as minister calls energy use 'difficult to justify'

"Norway is considering policy measures that would tackle the environmental impact of crypto mining, a government minister has told Euronews Next.

"Although crypto mining and its underlying technology might represent some possible benefits in the long run, it is difficult to justify the extensive use of renewable energy today," Norwegian local government and regional development minister Bjørn Arild Gram said.

"We are currently considering potential policy measures in order to address the challenges related to crypto mining. In the context of this work we will look to the solutions proposed by the Swedish regulators, and our target would be common European regulations in this area," he added."