China, a world leader in bitcoin mining, is home to the three largest crypto miner manufacturers – Bitmain (Antminer), Canaan (Avalon) and Ebang (Ebit), all having seek to go public in Hong Kong this year. Many more competent new players like Innosilicon, Whatsminer (ShenMa), Pandaminer, Bitfily, are springing up with their latest product delivering over 30T hashrate.
Apart from miner manufacturers, the world’s largest crypto mining machine distribution center – Huaqiang North, is also based in the country.
While shop owners there said a second-hand Antminer S9 is recently sold at 1,000 Chinese yuan (US$146), dropping from 21,000 yuan ($3070) when the crypto market was in bull run at the start of the year.
Huaqiang North, dubbed the country’s No. 1 electronics street and world’s largest distribution center of crypto miners, earns its name in the crypto space by selling coveted crypto miners. It attracts mine owners from Russia, India and even Europe to place orders there. When bitcoin price were at their highs, the Seg Plaza there were a sea of miners. Many former computer vendors switched to do business on crypto miners. Foreign buyers usually purchased hundreds of miners at one time, and bustling faces from Russia, India, South Korea and Japan were quite common there.
However, the noisy scene is no longer seen as bitcoin continues to tumble this year. A shop owner said, an ETH miner equipped with 8 GPUs could only mine 0.84 ETH a year, that means, it takes at least two years to earn the costs back calculated by the current ETH price ($283). A buyer said that he had invested 800,000 yuan ($117,000) in 2016 to purchase miners, in January this year, a steady earning can reach up to 60,000 yuan ($8,777) per day, which explained why people were willing to buy a miner at 30,000 yuan even if the original price was only 8,000 yuan back then, but the situation is different now.
The hashrate and profit (calculated when bitcoin is priced $6,481) generated by various miners in the market
The country is also a good fit for crypto mining with cheap electricity and land available in remote areas of Xinjiang, Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, where once housed world’s largest crypto mines. However, local regulators have been making efforts to root cryptocurrency out of its territory after escalated crackdown on cryptos and even mining by limiting power supply since last September. The government’s stringent stance drives these mines to countries that provide cheap electricity and amicable polices. Large mines move their operations overseas with Canada, the U.S., and Iceland among their top candidates, whilst most small and medium-sized ones turn to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam in Southeast Asia for geographical proximity, or simply, shut down their mining business
image credit to Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study by University of Cambridge
Not only does China manufacture most of the world’s mining equipment and house big mines, the country also houses some of the world’s biggest mining pools- BTC.com, AntPool, ViaBTC, F2Pool, BTC.TOP, controlling ~70% of the global network hash rate.