The United States has become the global epicenter of Bitcoin mining after a crackdown in China effectively wiped out the practice in the industry’s former birthplace.
At the end of August, America accounted for 35.4% of the global hash rate, a measure of the computing power used to mine digital currency, according to a Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance study released Wednesday. This is more than double the activity observed in April.
The increase in the country’s relative share was driven by China’s decision to downsize the industry to control financial risk. At the start of Bitcoin’s inception in 2009, the Asian nation was the base of the largest miners who tapped into cheap electricity from coal-fired and hydroelectric power stations.
Now, Beijing’s increased efforts to curb the cryptocurrency market, announced in May, are bearing fruit. China’s observed share of Bitcoin mining has effectively reached zero, the Cambridge researchers found. This is down from 75% in September 2019, when Cambridge started collecting data. It is also a sharp drop from the level of 46 percent recorded in April this year alone.
There is a strong possibility that covert mining is still going on in China, but being routed through VPNs that make computers appear to be operating in another country. Recent hash rate increases in Ireland and Germany are likely the result of minors using VPNs or proxy servers, Cambridge research shows.
Miners seek cheap electricity and welcome governments to fuel the virtual currency boom that is once again nearing record highs. The token has risen more than 370% in the past year to trade around $ 54,650 with a total market value of around $ 1,000 billion.
In Kazakhstan, the share of the hash rate reached 18.1 percent in August, from 8.2 percent in April, while the Russian share rose to 11 percent, from 6.8 percent during the same period.
Researchers at the institute, which is part of the Cambridge Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, collect data on the IP addresses of mining operators from the BTC.com, Poolin, ViaBTC and Foundry mining pools.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)