In September 2021, China banned all the cryptocurrency mining operations in the country, reporting crypto mining as an “extremely harmful” industry that endangers the country’s efforts to curb carbon emissions. According to a new report, China has now made a comeback as one of the world’s largest Bitcoin (BTC) mining hubs, months after the local government failed to shut down crypto operations. The United States claims the topmost position, which produced approximately 37.8% of the overall hash rate at the beginning of 2022.
The latest update on the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) reported that China has now become the second-largest hub of Bitcoin hash rates, accounting for almost 21.1% of the global hash rate distribution of Bitcoin mining. The CBECI is a part of the Cambridge Digital Assets Programme — a research initiative by the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance.
China was once the world’s largest Bitcoin mining hub, accounting for a total global Bitcoin hash rate of over 75% in 2019. Fast forward to July and August 2021, the hash rate plunged to 0% after a series of shutdowns in China. Irrespective of the ban imposed on Bitcoin mining, the hash rate soared to a whopping 22.3% and did not plummet below 18% since then.
Alexander Neumueller, Project Leader at CBECI told the Cointelegraph that the new report is enough to say that Bitcoin is still operational in the country. He stated, “Our data confirm the comments made by industry experts that Bitcoin mining is still operational in the country. Though it has not yet achieved its full potential, the country appears to be home to around 1/5th of the total global hash rate.”
Russia No Longer Claims the Third Spot
The CBECI update also stated a slight plunge in hash rate distribution in Kazakhstan, the third largest Bitcoin mining hub in the world. The country’s hash rate for BTC mining declined from 18% in August 2021 to 13.2% in January 2022. Moreover, reports also show that crypto miners are now engaging in mining as much as 9% of the global BTC hash rate in remote locations.
Canada and Russia claim almost 6.5% and 4.7% respectively, making them the next largest mining centers globally. Russia also witnessed its overall hash rate declining from 13.6 EH/s in August 2021 to 8.6 EH/s in January.
The CBECI updates also stated more specific data regarding the hash rate distribution of the largest state-level mining hub. The states of Texas, Kentucky, and Georgia are the biggest states in terms of hash rate distribution, claiming almost 11.2%, 32%, and 10.9% of the overall hash rate. These states account for over half of the total Bitcoin hash rate in the U.S. The CBECI update also reported active mining activities in the states of NYC, Washington, California, and North Carolina.
CBECI Pulled Data from Four Mining Pools
The CBECI extracted data together with four major cryptocurrency mining pools, including Foundry, BTC.com, ViaBTC, and Poolin. The official website reports that the average size for the examined crypto mining pool data stood between 32% and 38% of the overall BTC hash rate since 2019.
“We are working round the clock in efforts to improve our data and increase the accuracy of our estimates. The best way we can achieve this is to collaborate with more mining data pools, which will automatically encourage others pools to collaborate with us,” said Mr. Neumueller.