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New data shows the geographic shift of bitcoin mining. China’s share declined significantly, even before the government’s crypto crackdown. The top-5 bitcoin mining countries are:
The updated data from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) found that China’s share of total Bitcoin mining power has declined from 75.5% in September 2019 to 46% in April 2021. This shows China’s bitcoin mining share fell sharply even before the government reinforced its crypto crackdown in June this year.
In the same period, the US hash-rate (mining power) increased from 4.1% to 16.8%, making it #2 of overall mining power. Kazakhstan may be a surprising addition to the top-5 list, coming in at #3. Its bitcoin mining power increased almost 6-fold, from 1.4% in September 2019 to 8.2% in April 2021. Cheap energy makes this Central-Asian country an attractive alternative for bitcoin mining. Russian (6.8%) and Iran (4.6%) complete the top five.
The new data also shows the seasonal migration of bitcoin mining power in China, which ‘had only previously been anecdotally observed’.
‘The data reveals the annual migration of miners and their equipment from the Northern Province of Xinjiang in the dry season, to the Southern Province of Sichuan in the rainy season to avail themselves of abundant, and lower priced, hydropower generated electricity. In 2020, Sichuan’s share of China’s total Bitcoin mining power increased from 14.9% at the beginning of the wet season to 61.1% at the peak. Conversely, Xinjiang’s mainly coal-powered hashrate share for the same period decreased from 55.1% at the beginning of the wet season to 9.6% at the lowest point.’
This shows the complexity of calculating bitcoin mining consumption, according to a blog post by Michel Rauchs, Digital Asset Lead at the CCAF.