Bitcoin mining requires a lot of financial backing and anyone with an interest in this sector needs to have access to plenty of cheap electricity. In fact, with more and more mining companies appearing on the scene, individual miners are often pushed out of the picture. Today, some 15 mining companies have monopolized this market and have claimed most of the network hash power available across the globe.
As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies begin to enter the mainstream, the issue of power consumption becomes more and more glaring. While we’re currently seeing bitcoin mining in places where power is cheap (but not necessarily renewable) a trend toward sustainable crypto-mining is also starting to appear.
But for the moment, these are the top three countries leading the bitcoin mining race.
Home to some of the world’s top bitcoin mining companies including F2Pool, BW, and BTCC, China tops the leaderboard when it comes to overall crypto mining. Not only is electricity very cheap in the PRC but it has been long thought that most major Chinese power companies divert their excess energy to bitcoin mining facilities— thus further incentivizing such activities for investors.
With China’s mining pools owning around 60 percent of the world’s hash power, no other country comes close to the Eastern powerhouse when it comes to bitcoin mining.
BitFury, one of the largest providers of Bitcoin mining chips and hardware in the world resides in Georgia. The company has put this small European nation on the map as it mines around 15 percent of all bitcoins available across the globe.
Georgia may have cheap power and even a supportive government but mining investors may get twitchy when it comes to political stability, especially since they have Vladimir Putin as a neighbour
A core factor in bitcoin mining that particularly lends itself to colder climates is the amount of heat that is generated during the mining processes. Sweden being located in the upper reaches of the northern hemisphere allows large-scale mining rigs to remain cool and operate efficiently for extended periods.
The nation is also home to Stockholm-based KnCMiner, which currently mines about 7.5 percent of all bitcoins.
Other Notable Countries for Bitcoin Mining
The USA—Currently lagging behind the top mining players of the world but still contributing around 3 percent of the globe’s total bitcoin production, the USA boasts of an increasing number of mining facilities spread across California and other states in the Northwest.
Canada—The Canadian mining scene is starting to take off with Ontario-based Hut 8 going public and Quebec Hydro offering extremely inexpensive renewable power to interested companies.
Iceland—Since Iceland is pretty cold and not overly populated, its frosty shores make for a mining paradise. There is also plenty of cheap, geothermal energy and 100 percent renewable options available within the small nation.
While China may be dominating this market now but as we look to the future of bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining, countries that can offer sustainability and stability may start to redress the economic skew that currently exists in this space.