Bitcoin (BTC) mining is apparently making a strong comeback in China, Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance reported on May 17. The country had completely banned bitcoin mining last summer. According to new data of the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI), bitcoin mining in China made a strong comeback right after the summer.
Bitcoin miners in China bounce back
The Chinese share of the total hash rate, or computing power, of the Bitcoin network reached a whopping 75% in 2019, according to CBECI. By last year, shortly before the ban went into effect, the hash rate in China had fallen below 50%, and shortly after the ban dropped all the way to 0%.
A few months later, between September 2021 and January 2021, the share of the hash rate in China was already above 20%, the researchers report. Although these are new figures, the CBECI data only runs until January this year.
According to these estimates, the United States now holds the largest share of the hash rate, at 37.84%. Then China follows with 21.11%. Kazakhstan comes in third with 13.22%, followed by Canada with 6.48% and Russia with 4.66%.
📣📣New CBECI update shows US has extended its share of global hashrate to 37.84%, with China resurgent to second largest with 21.11%
For 1st time, update provides state-by-state granularity of US market share
— Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance CJBS (@CambridgeAltFin) May 17, 2022
Bitcoin mining underworld in China
The researchers report that the resurgence in China strongly suggests that an “underground” or illegal mining circuit has emerged in the country. This bitcoin mining underworld would then have to operate out of the sight of the government.
That means it’s probably a lot of minor surgeries. They will also not be connected to the national voltage grid and will probably keep their consumption low so as not to stand out. According to an anonymous miner, a lot of use is also made of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
Since the figures only run until January, the share may even have grown by now. The Bitcoin network’s total hash rate hit another at the beginning of this month all time high with a peak of about 250 exahashes per second (EH/s).