Bitcoin: the United States becomes world number one in mining

Posted on Oct. 13, 2021, 6:55 p.m.

It’s a change of era for bitcoin. For the first time, the United States has become the world number one in mining this cryptocurrency. According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, which is authoritative in the field, the United States accounted for 35.4% of global mining in August, up 428% compared to September 2020. China, once the ultra-dominant, is now off the radar. .

In a few months, the country has gone from being the hub of bitcoin mining to nothingness. China accounted for 75.5% of the global mining (the computer process by which this crypto is created) in September 2019. This share had been reduced to around 65% until October 2020. Then, as of November, it has dropped around 55%. Since Beijing decreed that mining was banned in May, its share has quickly dropped (44% in May and 34% in June). To the point of completely disappearing (0% in July).

Texas, the new El Dorado of cryptos

The reason cited by Beijing for banning mining was its high electricity consumption and by extension, its environmental cost. Also according to Cambridge, if bitcoin were a country, it would rank 29th out of 196 in terms of electricity consumption. With 129 TWh measured worldwide in April, mining exceeds Norway’s consumption (124 TWh). It is also ten times higher than Google’s activity (around 12 TWh).

This decision initially caused a drop in the price of bitcoin. And in a second, an exodus of minors; in the crypto world, the phenomenon has been called “the great mining migration”. Main destination: Texas. This state is renowned for the competitiveness of its electricity. Better still, its share of renewable energies is constantly increasing. Moreover, the authorities are rather pro-crypto – as are the population, 33% favoring bitcoin as legal tender, according to “Newsweek”. The states of Washington and New York are also favored by bitcoin miners.

Kazakhstan as a simple stopover

Thus the Texan senator Ted Cruz, invited to the Texas Blockchain Summit Friday October 8, for example encouraged the miners to come to settle in his State to benefit from the gas and the wind energy produced locally and which is partly wasted, fault of request. “Use this energy to mine bitcoin,” the senator urged at the conference.

What ends up explaining the sudden disappearance of miners in China is that the country declared at the end of September that cryptocurrency transactions were illegal. In other words, this reorganization of the mining market is here to stay.

If the United States has been able to capture the most minors, they are not alone. Behind is Kazakhstan, with 18.1% of the shares. The energy here is not renewable, but the coal mines provide cheap electricity. But this country would only be a step, according to experts cited by CNBC. A tax scheduled for 2022 could deter more than one.

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