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Bitcoin: USA is the new number one in prospecting


China's leadership is cracking down on so-called Bitcoin miners. Many therefore prefer to earn their money with the cryptocurrency in the USA. Even in Germany, the business is apparently paying off at the moment.

Enlarge image

Employees of a Bitcoin mining farm in Italy (archive image)

Photo: Alessandro Bianchi / REUTERS

Just a year ago, China was the global center of the so-called Bitcoin miners.

They earn a lot of money by performing specific arithmetic operations without which the digital currency Bitcoin could not function.

But because mining Bitcoin eats up a lot of electricity, China has been cracking down on miners for several months.

Current figures from the University of Cambridge's Center for Alternative Finance now show that the majority of Bitcoin mining now takes place in the United States. Over a third of the output for Bitcoin mining now comes from the USA, while China has dropped to a no longer measurable share in the statistics. With a market share of just under 4.5 percent, Germany ranks 7th worldwide.

The high power consumption of Bitcoin mining also has serious consequences for the climate. At the beginning of the year, the Cambridge researchers estimated that the energy consumption of all cryptocurrencies is roughly the same as the electricity consumption of all of Argentina or Norway. According to a new study by the Technical University of Munich, mining also produces large quantities of electronic waste, as the devices required for this have to be replaced frequently. According to the study, around half a pound of electronic waste is generated per Bitcoin transaction.

A year ago, Bitcoin miners in China were responsible for around three-quarters of all mining operations. A month ago, however, the Chinese government issued a nationwide ban on crypto mining in view of the energy shortages. Beijing had already raided miners in the spring. As a result, the miners began en masse to leave China and make their way to the cheapest energy sources in the world.

"The whole narrative that China controls Bitcoin is now completely obsolete," Boaz Sobrado, a London-based fintech data analyst, told CNBC.

The US met many requirements for Bitcoin miners looking for a new home.

In states like Texas, for example, energy prices are very low in a global comparison.

"This is a great incentive for the miners who compete in an industry with low profit margins." The energy mix in Texas is primarily characterized by natural gas.

Wind energy and oil follow some way behind.

Mining boom in Kazakhstan too

After bitcoin mining in China had largely ended, many miners also migrated to neighboring Kazakhstan, which now has a market share of 18.1 percent.

In third place is Russia (11.2 percent), ahead of Canada (9.6 percent), Ireland (4.7), Malaysia (4.6) and Germany.

Although electricity prices in Germany are comparatively high, Bitcoin mining is worthwhile if the Bitcoin exchange rate is as high as it is currently.

On Thursday, the exchange rate for Bitcoin was around $ 57,600.

In mid-July, however, a Bitcoin was only worth around $ 31,000.

Because of these highly volatile prices, consumer advocates generally warn against investments in the form of cryptocurrency.

hpp / dpa

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-10-14

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