US becomes largest bitcoin mining center after China crackdown

The United States has overtaken China for the largest share of the world’s bitcoin mining, data published Wednesday by Britain’s Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance showed.

The figures demonstrate the impact of the crackdown on bitcoin trading and mining, initiated by China’s State Council or cabinet in late May, that ravaged the industry and caused miners to close up shop or relocate overseas.

China’s share of the power of computers connected to the global bitcoin network, known as the “hash rate,” fell from 44% in May to zero by July, and to 75% in 2019, as data showed. runs.

Miners elsewhere have shifted their focus to North America and Central Asia and larger Chinese miners have moved in as well, although the process is fraught with logistical difficulties.

As a result, the United States now accounts for the largest share of mining, about 35.4% of the global hash rate as of the end of August, followed by Kazakhstan and Russia, as the data showed.

Bitcoin is created or “mined” by high-powered computers, usually at data centers in different parts of the world, that compete to solve complex mathematical puzzles that make intensive use of electricity.

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In a letter to the government in Moscow in late September, Igor Kobzaev, the governor of Russia’s Irkutsk region, pointed to an “avalanche-like increase” of energy tariffs, blaming underground cryptocurrency mining.

“(The situation) has been worsened by Chinese authorities’ banning of mining and the transfer of a significant amount of equipment to the Irkutsk region,” Kobzaev said in the letter, according to a report by the Vedomosti daily on Wednesday.

Authorities elsewhere are more tolerant or welcoming of bitcoin mining, while Chinese authorities last month announced even stricter rules for bitcoin mining and trading.

“Our current focus is accelerating the construction of compliant mining farms in North America and Europe,” a representative for mining equipment maker Ebang International Holdings said after the latest action.

But industry players remain troubled.

Mao Shihang, founder of F2Pool, the world’s largest bitcoin mining pool, and co-founder of Singapore-headquartered crypto asset Kobo, said, “As a veteran who witnessed the birth of the industry in China, I think that today’s The situation is pathetic.” Manager and Guardian.

“China is losing its share of computing power … the center of gravity of the industry is shifting to the United States,” he said before the Cambridge data were published.