Bitcoin Mining in 2019: Renewable Energy and the Importance of Sichuan

Fintoism Bitcoin Mining Renewable Energy

The concept of cryptocurrency mining has received a lot of attention in recent years. Various reports have tired to document which region is the most popular for mining Bitcoin. It turns out that China still spans the crown, which might come as  a surprise to some.

The Bitcoin Mining Landscape

To successfully mine Bitcoin – or any other cryptocurrency, certain conditions need to be met.  One needs access to the right hardware on a large scale, as well as a place to host all of these machines. The most important aspect is trying to find the cheapest electricity at one’s disposal. That latter part might not necessarily be as easy as some might think.

Various regions around the world appeal to Bitcoin miners in many different ways. A lot of new mining farms have been set up across Scandinavia, the Middle East, and the United States in recent years. All of those ventures try to take advantage of cheap electricity, primarily in areas where renewable energy is abundant. 

Current regulatory measures also play a role in the Bitcoin mining industry. If governments openly oppose this business model, the financial aspect of mining Bitcoin won’t be sustainable. Given China’s negative stance on cryptocurrencies- for trading, primarily – one wouldn’t expect cryptocurrency mining to be all that popular. The reality, according to a new report, is completely different. 

The Coinshares Report

Accurately measuring where most of the Bitcoin mining occurs is not straightforward. CoinShares has put in a lot of time and effort to determine where most of the hashpower appears to originate from. Contrary to many people’s expectations, the majority of Bitcoin miners operate out of China. More specifically, the Sichuan region of China, which represents 54% of the global Bitcoin hash rate.

The report also highlights how very few regions control large amounts of the remaining Bitcoin mining power. CoinShares claims how 31% of the hashrate is distributed among the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and Iran. Particularly the latter country is rather interesting, as it is not associated with Bitcoin all that often. 

Renewable Energy is Crucial

Given the negative attention Bitcoin mining has received by researchers, the narrative needs to be changed. Thankfully, it would appear the majority of mining operators are already doing their part. Most of the bigger operations out there already rely on renewable energy sources.

It is believed that 73% of the electricity consumed by Bitcoin miners comes from renewable sources. This changes the narrative in multiple ways. Not only does it show the negative reports are taking things out of context, but it makes Bitcoin mining operations a major global electricity buyer.

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