A Chinese hashing center. Image source: http://www.thecoinsman.com/2014/08/bitcoin/inside-chinese-bitcoin-mine/
Bitcoin-industry blogger Jason “The Coinsman” Smith recently posted a revealing look inside an industrial-scale bitcoin mining operation in northeastern China. Although understandably light on the specifics, perhaps in part due to the Chinese government’s ongoing hostility to cryptocurrency in general, the photo essay shed some light on just how global the bitcoin community is.
While hashing centers in the U.S. have gained considerable attention in the IT and bitcoin media, the barebones nature of the Chinese center is no less relevant to the growing digital currency infrastructure.
Smith wrote of the experience:
The first thing you notice as you approach the warehouse is the noise. It begins as soon as you step out of the car, at which point it sounds like massive swarm of angry bees droning away somewhere off in the distance.
It becomes louder and louder the closer you get to the building, and as you step through the doors it becomes a deafening and steady roar; a combination of tens of thousands of tiny ASIC chips hashing away, and dozens of large industrial fans serving to cool down the “workers”.
According to Smith, even with all of those fans running the temperature was a constant 105° F, a situation even hobby miners can easily imagine. Littered with old, now-useless Avalon mining hardware, the former factory houses 2,500 machines, each “hashing away at 230 GH/s.” The power bill? Around $60,000 per month.
Smith calls the three operators of the hashing center the “heroes that keep our precious bitcoin network safe,” and clearly has a great deal of respect for the operation itself. The original post is well worth taking a look at, offering a glimpse into a side of bitcoin rarely considered, even by most miners.
Written on 12 Aug 2014.