One of many revealing images from the Coinsman’s blog post. Source: http://www.thecoinsman.com/2014/08/bitcoin/inside-one-worlds-largest-bitcoin-mines/
Earlier this month, bitcoin blog The Coinsman reported on the internal workings of a massive hashing center in Northeastern China, revealing key details on the operations of the mining operation. This week, the Coinsman visited another Chinese hashing center, this one being a “larger, even more secretive operation” than the last.
Bitcoin mining is clearly a booming enterprise across the globe, but this massive, four-building facility is something new. As the Coinsman noted: “This wasn’t a repurposed factory like the previous mine I visited… this was an entire facility being constructed just for bitcoin mining!”
According to the report, each warehouse-like space has around 3,000 square meters of floor space (9842.52 square feet). All told, the site will eventually have eight such buildings, all dedicated to creating a true behemoth of industrial bitcoin mining power.
How soon with it be complete? The answer is staggering, both from a logistical and safety perspecitve:
The mine operators told me that each warehouse took fifteen days to construct, and an additional ten days to fill up with hardware and get it all hashing away. The concrete was still drying on some of the buildings.
The buildings are clearly designed for bitcoin mining and little else, with a wall of industrial fans on one side and the opposite wall covered in what appears to be a cardboard-based evaporative cooling system. Not only is the system inexpensive, it’s also seemingly effective, keeping the internal temperatures of the hashing centers at 77 °F.
And inside? Racks and shelves filled with brand-new mining hardware. It seems that the center is equipped for both bitcoin and alt-coin mining, and has new equipment from a variety of ASIC vendors arriving constantly. The Coinsman estimates that the center may already have several petahashes of mining power under its command, and may already account for as much as 5% of the entire bitcoin network.
If you’ve been wondering why the bitcoin difficulty rate has been spiking of recent, look no further than China’s digital gold rush.
Written on 29 Aug 2014.