The ban on cryptocurrency mining in China that was imposed in May meant that an exodus of miners, along with millions of the power-intensive and clunky machines that are used for solving complex puzzles and earning Bitcoin had to be relocated. More than 2 million machines have been moved out by fourteen of the world’s biggest mining companies in the months after the ban imposed in China. The lion’s share of these crypto mining machines were moved to Russia, Kazakhstan, Canada and the United States. One of the largest crypto mining machines listed in the US, Bit Digital sought the services of an international logistics company to get its property from China.
The company is currently still waiting for nearly 1,000 machines that are at the Port of New York and are yet to be released. Bit Digital’s chief strategy officer, Sam Tabar said that they had begun their fleet migration back in March 2020, which turned out to be a good move in hindsight. He disclosed that they had 20,000 miners in China when the ban was imposed. However, it was also revealed that 372 machines had to be abandoned in the country because they had come to the end of their useful lives.
According to the figures, of the 10 largest public mega-farms that are based in North America, eight have expanded their fleet of machines since the ban was imposed in China. The Vice President of the corporate development and investor relations at Toronto-based crypto mining firm, Hut8, disclosed that panicked Chinese sellers had bombarded them with offers when the ban was announced. Sue Ennis said that they had received calls from providers that were one-sided and very opaque. She disclosed that they had acquired around 24,000 machines in June from MicroBT, a Chinese company.
China’s ban had triggered ‘frenzied liquidations’, which resulted in a 41.7% price drop in the Antiminer S19, which is a popular machine amongst industrial miners. This price drop had occurred between May and July. The manufacturer of S19, Bitmain, which is also based in China, sold around 30,000 machines to a crypto mining company named Marathon Digital Holdings based in Las Vegas back in August. Another 30,000 machines were purchased by Terawulf based in Maryland. In June, the company announced that they were suspending sales of the machines for reducing the pressure on the market and ensuring the smooth transition of the industry.
Other than the United States, the position of the lead mining center is taken up by Kazakhstan. The bulk of the machines from Chinese mining company named Bitfufu went to Kazakhstan, which was around 80,000 machines. Another 7,849 machines were shipped by BIT Mining in August. Russia also became a beneficiary of the ban in China. More than 5,000 machines were received by Bit Cluster, an infrastructure hosting company based in Moscow. Exiled Chinese miners also sold 20,000 machines to BitRiver, a crypto mining company in Russia, which they are shipping in batches. A representative of the company said that instead of lack of equipment, the bigger concern is now lack of space for placing it.