back to article Despite ban, China surges back to second place on bitcoin mining charts

China has become the world’s second most prolific miner of bitcoin – or maybe it always was – according to new data from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF). The Centre on Tuesday announced its latest hashrate data analysing activity from September 2021 to January 2022 and found the USA is home to 37.84 percent …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Who profits?

    Or maybe some have discovered an opportunity making some extra money for Big Brother. Mining is forbidden but tolerated as long as they serve the right interests with strategic bribes and the like. It is all about money. Legality or environment is no consideration when the price is right.

  2. veti Silver badge

    Kazakhstan...

    ... surges into third place, and experiences power shortages.

    Gee, what are the odds of those two completely unrelated events coinciding like that.

  3. elaar

    There was a chap on Radio 5 today, the writer of some Bitcoin-is-great book touting that Bitcoin mining largely uses renewable energy, and energy sources which would otherwise be unrealised. And yet here we see that the vast majority of mining takes place in countries that come top of the leaderboard for coal power stations....

    There was also another stat that I found interesting, which was that the energy it takes just to do a single transaction in Bitcoin could power an average sized home for 2 weeks (no idea how accurate that actually is). Scary stuff.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Only a very tiny portion of bitcoin

      Is properly "green". There are some oil wells in the US that are not near any natural gas pipelines so the excess natural gas that comes from the well was simply flared off. Some bitcoin miners set up operations there to use that gas that would otherwise be uselessly burned. So you can argue that's green, since it isn't increasing emissions at all (it may actually slightly reduce them, as they would have incentive to reduce leaks they would have previously ignored)

      There are also a lot of very much not green practices - just saw an article that in Pennsylvania bitcoin miners have been opening up old gas wells that were capped a few years back when the price got too low and bringing in natural gas generators. So they're creating new emissions but trying to claim they are like the operations using flare gas - when there is a perfectly good pipeline that could bring that gas to market where it would provide useful economic work instead of the total waste that is bitcoin.

      Simply using green energy to mine bitcoin is not green in any way, because that's forcing other energy users who would have used it to use fossil fuels instead, so even if you set up in next to a dam every megawatt of power you use is a megawatt that someone else has to replace with fossil fuels.

    2. Valeyard

      the greenest energy is the energy you don't use, and bitcoin creates a high demand for no other reason than to trick some teenagers into a get-rich-quick ponzi scheme

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