A crypto mining farm is a facility where cryptocurrencies are mined. Mining is the process by which new coins are created and released into circulation. The first coin, BTC, was mined in 2009. As of Q3 2022, there were over 18k different coins, pushing the total market cap to over $996 billion. Even so, only a small percentage of modern coins can be mined.
Crypto mining farms are typically large warehouses filled with hundreds or even thousands of computers, called rigs, all working together to mine coins. The computers on a mining farm are usually connected to the internet and have specialized software that allows them to mine cryptocurrency.
These rigs use their processing power to solve complex mathematical problems. When they solve one of these problems, it is rewarded with a small amount of cryptocurrency. The more computers a farm has, the more cryptocurrency it can mine.
Crypto mining farms use a lot of electricity, and they can generate a lot of heat. To keep the computers from overheating, many farms use industrial-sized fans and air conditioning units. Coins mined on a farm are typically stored in a secure cryptocurrency wallet. A crypto wallet is a piece of software that allows someone to store, send, and receive tokens. They are similar to traditional bank accounts, but they are not regulated by governments.
In all, cryptocurrency mining is a risky business. This is so because crypto prices tend to fluctuate wildly and a farm can suddenly become unprofitable if the value of the coin it is mining plummets. Farms can also be hacked, and the computers on the farm can be stolen. Despite the risks, many people are drawn to cryptocurrency mining because it can be extremely profitable.
Why did China ban cryptocurrency mining?
China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), announced a ban on cryptocurrency mining in early 2018. The central bank cited concerns about electricity consumption, money laundering, and investor protection as the main reasons for the ban.
As mentioned earlier, crypto mining is a process that uses specialized computer hardware to solve complex math problems. The reward for solving these problems is newly minted cryptocurrency. As mining is on proof of work systems, the process, unfortunately, tend to consume a lot of electricity, and China was, at that time, the home to some of the largest cryptocurrency mines in the world.
The PBoC’s ban on cryptocurrency mining is intended to reduce electricity consumption and protect investors. But it’s also part of the Chinese government’s wider crackdown on cryptocurrency. In September 2017, the Chinese government banned initial coin offerings (ICOs), a type of fundraising using cryptocurrency. And in January 2018, the PBoC ordered cryptocurrency exchanges to stop trading.
The PBoC’s actions are likely motivated by concerns about financial stability and control. Cryptocurrency mining and trading are decentralized and not subject to government regulation. This makes it difficult for the Chinese government to track and tax cryptocurrency activities.
The ban on crypto mining in China saw the U.S. emerge as a preferred destination for miners who set up camp and investing heavily on BTC mining in various states like Texas and Wyoming.