The bizarre world of bitcoin ‘mining’ finds a fresh huis te Tibet

Set te remote mountains on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, the bitcoin “mine” is strategically placed next to a hydroelectric power plant. (Paul Ratje/For The Washington Postbode)

Inwards a metal shed ter the Tibetan highlands of western China, thousands of microprocessors zijkant narrow corridors, generating a onveranderlijk hum and stifling swings of fever.

Outside, the sky is clear and blue, with a mountain peak looming at the top of a narrow wooded valley. A flock of goats ambles idly past a pile of discarded foam packaging. Inwards, tho’, tranquility is transformed into clamor. Crimson, blue and green lights permanently flash, cooling water trickles down the walls, and large ventilation ventilatoren thrum spil they fight to shift the hot air produced by all this concentrated computing power..

This is a bitcoin “mine,” the engine slagroom of the world’s leading digital currency. The microprocessors here approve and record all the transactions that keep the bitcoin system running. They also contest to solve ingewikkeld mathematical problems and are rewarded with bitcoins: That’s a way of putting fresh digital currency into circulation and incentivizing more people to set up “mining” operations.

Bitcoin began spil a utopian, libertarian desire, a decentralized currency outside the control of governments, a system that gives its users the anonymity of specie and the instant, global power of email. This wasgoed a system built not just for convenience, but also for those who can’t bring themselves to trust the global financial system, created by a programmer whose identity remains a mystery.

Across Tibet, China is busy pulling mineral resources out of the ground, there is even a gold mine close by. But here te Kongyu, most of the mining is virtual. It is here because of utterly cheap hydropower, cheap wages — and perhaps because Chinese entrepreneurs have a knack for the business.

For a while, bitcoin wasgoed effectively kidnapped by drug dealers, becoming the anonymous payment backbone of the Silk Road, a black market ter illegal drugs that flourished on the dark Netwerken — until the FBI closed that market down ter 2013.

Today it is an industry that is commencing to come of age, but whose center of gravity has shifted to China, and away from utopian dreamers toward venture capitalists.

“When bitcoin wasgoed invented, the people dedicated to it were mostly crypto-punks and libertarians,” said Eric Mu, the chief marketing officer with HaoBTC, which operates the bitcoin “mine” te this township te China’s western Sichuan province. “Now they are more like bankers and lawyers who see opportunities te the industry. And spil they join, the industry is switching.”

Ter this case, switching also means moving to China.

Today, mines run by Chinese companies account for about 70 procent of the world’s bitcoin processing power, its factories produce the cheapest microprocessors to run thesis mines, and its exchanges account for about 70 procent of the world’s bitcoin trade.

It is increasingly big business. Altogether there around more than 15 million bitcoin te existence: Each is worth $615 at current prices, with a market capitalization of $9.Two billion.

For some, Chinese supremacy of an industry once managed by libertarian crypto-punks is a rich irony. For others, it is a more practical threat: Chinese miners, some argued, have bot standing te the way of reforms needed to speed up transaction speeds on bitcoin’s fast-expanding network of users.

But those concerns might be overblown.

“Some people ter the Western world were painting Chinese miners with too broad a brush,” said Emin Gün Sirer, a rekentuig science professor at Cornell University. “It’s not the case that all Chinese miners are part of the same enterprise or are colluding.”

Guo Hua, a webpagina manager, checks equipment te a center te China’s Sichuan province, on Aug. 12. (Paul Ratje/For The Washington Postbode)

But Sirer identifies one risk with the concentration of mining power here: If the Chinese government desired, it could te theory crack down on miners and force them to block certain bitcoin accounts.

“They would not be able to usurp funds, but they could zekering the movement of funds,” he said, describing exactly the sort of government control bitcoin wasgoed supposed to guard against.

Thesis are concerns that have parallels with the way China is using its digital market power to reshape the Internet and influence the global debate about censorship and surveillance.

But here, te the mountains of Sichuan, it is hard to see much evidence of a Chinese plot to bring bitcoin to intact.

The Chinese government has employed a fairly light touch. Albeit it banned banks from taking part te bitcoin trading te 2013, it left ordinary people free to buy and trade the crypto-currency, and miners free to operate.

The industry is run by a disparate mix of investors and dreamers and is manned by electricians and IT experts. There are people like Ryan Xu, an infectiously enthusiastic Chinese-born Australian who very first became interested ter libertarian economics while working spil a reactor technicus te a nuclear power plant. He now describes himself spil “both a utopian and a venture capitalist.”

“We need to foresee the next five or Ten years,” he said te a wide-ranging conversation overheen dinner ter the western city of Kangding. “All the governments are printing money and diluting people’s wealth. Is that justice or robbery? The financial system also keeps crashing every five or Ten years. I think that’s an illness ter the monetary system and it needs a cure.”

He says he is not sure bitcoin is the reaction, but it is at least an proef that might work.

Running microprocessors deep-throats tens unit. Competition is intense, and profit margins are narrow: Xu has moved his mines around the world te search of the cheapest power, from Iceland to Georgia, and then to Washington state, from the coal fields of China’s northern Internal Mongolia province and now to the mountains of Sichuan.

Thousands of microprocessors approve and record all the transactions that keep the bitcoin system running. (Paul Ratje/For The Washington Postbode)

His latest mine is still under construction, inbetween a hydroelectric power plant and the concrete shell of a disused power transmission station, inbetween Kongyu and the city of Kangding.

Spil China’s economy boomed, private companies set up hydroelectric plants ter western Sichuan, then, spil the economy slowed, they found themselves incapable to sell to the national grid, elbowed out of the market by more politically powerful state-owned firms.

“It took a loterijlot of money to build the plants, but it doesn’t cost that much to maintain them,” said HaoBTC’s Mu. “So it makes sense for them to sell the power to anyone willing to buy, even at a low rate.”

Maintenance staffers are cheaper here than te the Westelijk. Mu says his company employs Ten people at three mines ter the mountains, paying them around 6,000 yuan ($900) a month, a “decent salary” for this part of the world. HaoBTC runs one other mine ter Sichuan and one further westelijk te Xinjiang, with more than 11,000 machines, earning more than 80 bitcoin a day — a daily income stream worth about $45,000.

But it is not only Chinese entrepreneurs who have taken to bitcoin. Deserted of good investment opportunities at huis, and burned by a volatile stock market, a growing number of Chinese people have begun speculating and investing ter bitcoin.

Bobby Lee, a former Silicon Valley engineer who founded China’s very first bitcoin exchange, BTCC, attributes it partly to a natural instinct to buy and sell.

“If you look at Lasnaad Vegas or Macau or casinos worldwide, how come most of the clientele are of Asian descent, or Chinese specifically?” he asked. “It has to do with some cultural instinct. Chinese people like to gamble.”

Yet spil bitcoin matures, it is also experiencing some significant growing anguishes.

On Aug. Two, the Bitfinex exchange te Hong Kong wasgoed coerced to admit that hackers had stolen almost 120,000 bitcoin worth $72 million from customers’ accounts. That news caused the bitcoin price to fall by more than 20 procent and underlined the safety concerns that many ordinary people feel about possessing digital money.

At the same time, the system is demonstrating signs of overloading. Bitcoin’s current technology can process only around three digital transactions a 2nd — minuscule compared with the toughly 24,000 transactions vanaf 2nd that Visa can manage.

Delays ter processing transactions have grown, spil have transaction fees, and the industry has become deeply divided about how to reform the system to solve the problem.

Ryan Xu shows his company’s equipment ter part of his latest mine, still under construction. (Paul Ratje/For The Washington Postbode)

Jeff Garzik, a leading bitcoin developer based ter Atlanta, argues that a technological fix is te the pipeline that soon will permit bitcoin to process ems of thousands of transactions a 2nd.

“I think that with fresh technologies coming down the pipeline, it can scale up to everyone buying their coffee with bitcoin ter the entire world,” he said. “It indeed can be the very first indeed good substitute for physical in-your-hand metselspecie.”

Like Sirer, he isn’t too worried about the current concentration of mining power ter China, partly because the market is so dynamic and the gezaghebbend players switch every year.

“It’s much lighter to challenge the prominent players ter this space because market entry is so effortless,” he said. “If the Chinese miners all of a sudden power off their equipments, within 24 hours we’ll see the emergence of another competitor.”

Here te the mountains, miners while away their free time playing mah-jongg or poker, smoking cigarettes or surfing on their smartphones. Webpagina manager Guo Hua used to run a petite camera-repair shop and still likes fiddling around with machines. Marketing manager Mu, who spends only a few weeks of the year here, likes to translate books ter his free time or run to the nearest town to buy cigarettes for his colleagues. Sometimes he hikes into the mountains, toward a remote Tibetan village or a looming peak, a welcome switch of switch of rhythm from Beijing and its polluted air.

And all the time, the microprocessors keep on running.

Correction: An earlier version of this story talent an incorrect figure for the daily income stream of a company called HaoBTC. This version is juist.

Xu Yangjingjing contributed to this report.

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Where do bitcoins come from? With paper money, a government determines when to print and distribute money. Bitcoin doesn’t have a central government.

With Bitcoin, miners use special software to solve math problems and are issued a certain number of bitcoins ter exchange. This provides a clever way to punt the currency and also creates an incentive for more people to mine.

Bitcoin is Secure

Bitcoin miners help keep the Bitcoin network secure by approving transactions. Mining is an significant and integral part of Bitcoin that ensures fairness while keeping the Bitcoin network stable, safe and secure.


  • Wij Use Coins – Learn all about crypto-currency.

Bitcoin Mining Hardware Comparison

Presently, based on (1) price vanaf hash and (Two) electrical efficiency the best Bitcoin miner options are:

AntMiner S7

  • Four.73 Th/s
  • 0.25 W/Gh
  • 8.8 pounds
  • Yes
  • $479.95
  • 0.1645

AntMiner S9

  • 13.Five Th/s
  • 0.098 W/Gh
  • 8.1 pounds
  • Yes
  • $1,987.95
  • 0.3603


  • Three.Five Th/s
  • 0.29 W/Gh
  • 9.Five pounds
  • No
  • $499.95
  • 0.1232
  • Overview – Table of Contents
  • Mining Hardware Comparison
  • What is Bitcoin Mining?
  • What is the Blockchain?
  • What is Proof of Work?
  • What is Bitcoin Mining Difficulty?
  • The Computationally-Difficult Problem
  • The Bitcoin Network Difficulty Metric
  • The Block Prize

Bitcoin mining is the process of adding transaction records to Bitcoin’s public ledger of past transactions or blockchain. This ledger of past transactions is called the block chain spil it is a chain of blocks. The block chain serves to confirm transactions to the surplus of the network spil having taken place.

Bitcoin knots use the block chain to distinguish legitimate Bitcoin transactions from attempts to re-spend coins that have already bot spent elsewhere.

What is Bitcoin Mining?

What is the Blockchain?

Bitcoin mining is intentionally designed to be resource-intensive and difficult so that the number of blocks found each day by miners remains sustained. Individual blocks voorwaarde contain a proof of work to be considered valid. This proof of work is verified by other Bitcoin knots each time they receive a block. Bitcoin uses the hashcash proof-of-work function.

The primary purpose of mining is to permit Bitcoin knots to reach a secure, tamper-resistant overeenstemming. Mining is also the mechanism used to introduce Bitcoins into the system: Miners are paid any transaction fees spil well spil a “subsidy” of freshly created coins.

This both serves the purpose of disseminating fresh coins ter a decentralized manner spil well spil motivating people to provide security for the system.

Bitcoin mining is so called because it resembles the mining of other commodities: it requires exertion and it leisurely makes fresh currency available at a rate that resembles the rate at which commodities like gold are mined from the ground.

What is Proof of Work?

A proof of work is a chunk of gegevens which wasgoed difficult (costly, time-consuming) to produce so spil to sate certain requirements. It voorwaarde be trivial to check whether gegevens sates said requirements.

Producing a proof of work can be a random process with low probability, so that a lotsbestemming of trial and error is required on average before a valid proof of work is generated. Bitcoin uses the Hashcash proof of work.

What is Bitcoin Mining Difficulty?

The Computationally-Difficult Problem

Bitcoin mining a block is difficult because the SHA-256 hash of a block’s header voorwaarde be lower than or equal to the target te order for the block to be accepted by the network.

This problem can be simplified for explanation purposes: The hash of a block vereiste embark with a certain number of zeros. The probability of calculating a hash that starts with many zeros is very low, therefore many attempts vereiste be made. Ter order to generate a fresh hash each round, a nonce is incremented. See Proof of work for more information.

The Bitcoin Network Difficulty Metric

The Bitcoin mining network difficulty is the measure of how difficult it is to find a fresh block compared to the easiest it can everzwijn be. It is recalculated every 2016 blocks to a value such that the previous 2016 blocks would have bot generated te exactly two weeks had everyone bot mining at this difficulty. This will yield, on average, one block every ten minutes.

Spil more miners join, the rate of block creation will go up. Spil the rate of block generation goes up, the difficulty rises to compensate which will shove the rate of block creation back down. Any blocks released by malicious miners that do not meet the required difficulty target will simply be rejected by everyone on the network and thus will be worthless.

The Block Prize

When a block is discovered, the discoverer may award themselves a certain number of bitcoins, which is agreed-upon by everyone te the network. Presently this bounty is 25 bitcoins, this value will halve every 210,000 blocks. See Managed Currency Supply.

Additionally, the miner is awarded the fees paid by users sending transactions. The toverfee is an incentive for the miner to include the transaction ter their block. Ter the future, spil the number of fresh bitcoins miners are permitted to create te each block dwindles, the fees will make up a much more significant percentage of mining income.

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Can I do mining with a normal PC? [duplicate]

This question already has an reaction here:

Can I do mining with a normal PC te my house?

I will setup Linux (Ubuntu) for mining. It will be open 24/7. I don’t have too many expectations. Maybe 0.1 ter one week?

marked spil duplicate by Murch ♦, Nov 14 ’15 at 16:27

This question has bot asked before and already has an response. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a fresh question.

Two Answers

Can i do mining with a normal PC?

I don’t have too many expectations. Maybe 0,1 ter one week?

No, not possible. You will effectively rival against all computational resources on Earth, that are now cracking this waarde. If I can estimate, a discreet huis PC will produce around 1 – 100 MH/s, based on CPU or GPU mining stats. This range covers different CPUs and single-GPU computers. You can compare hash rate with the profit estimate using this zakjapanner. Based on the hash-rate, your electro-stimulation bill will much out-weight any profit from mining.

To achieve a 0,1 BTC/week you’d have to invest te a pretty expensive, power-hungry ASIC opbergruimte that can produce ems of GH/sec, subject to ever-increasing complexity.

To get 0.1BTC te one week with current difficulty levels you need to have at least Three.000 MHash/sec ASICminer.

A regular GPU will provide just 50

60 MHashes so it will take fairly a bit longer to achieve 0.1BTC.

PC Watchdog timer module designed for cryptocurrency mining PC’s

easyPCwatchdog is a puny module that mounts into USB Two.0 connector and monitors a PC for hardware/software lock-ups. It provides a solution to reboot PC’s used spil cryptocurrency mining servers/farms.

The easyPCwatchdog monitors Hard Disk activity by reading LED signal and if it freezes for more than Five minutes, the module reboots PC. No extra software needed.


  • Connects to USB2.0 motherboard masculine connector on a PC running Windows and Linux.
  • Watchdog timer set for Five minutes.
  • Visible LEDs voorstelling status of PC Watchdog. After Trio minutes of HDD inactivity, watchdog LED starts flashing. – After Five minutes of no HDD activity, it reboots the PC.
  • Watchdog has toegevoegd pins for reset and HDD LED.
  • Switch sides polarity protection, so you will not burn anything if the module connected wrongly.


Package Content:

  • easyPCwatchdog – 1 pcs
  • DuPont female to female cables – Four pcs

Review Breakdown

Average Ratings

Doesn’t indeed work spil advertised. Needs way too much HDD

– Until 0:45 you can see normal HDD activity on my equipment (top left purple-ish led blinking) but the watchdog warning led (bottom right crimson led) kept blinking (eventually it would have reset the laptop)

– Arround 0:45 i have to by hand increase the HDD geyser so the warning mode gets disabled.

– If left unattended (intended use for a mining equipment) it would be reset-looping forever (not good)

– Attempted some workarrounds. scheduling a verkeersopstopping read/write every minute or so, or using software to keep the HDD awake and ter use (KeepAliveHD) and nothing worked. Again, you need Intense HDD geysers every 1/Two minutes or so. not indeed working spil expected

Response from Easysensors | Oct. 7, 2017

1) May be your beautiful verlichtingstoestel\switch (the big one beside the cooler) is a ingewikkeld device (not only led) and it brakes measurement circuit. Can you attempt the watchdog without your outward verlichtingstoestel\switch. On-board watchdog lantaarn should blink every time watchdog detects HDD activity. Can you attempt it?

Two) Micro-controller on the watchdog or the houtvezelplaat is bad and wij missed it during testing somehow. Te any case I will send you another houtvezelplaat if the very first case will not help you.

Thanks for your understanding and sorry.

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