China’s Bitcoin Miners Unwanted in Southeast Asia Too
Southeast Asia is emerging as a new hub of bitcoin mining as Chinese miners swarm to Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam because of access to comparatively cheap electricity and geographical proximity. While soon these China’s unwanted bitcoin miners found they are not wanted there too, complaint from local residents, frequent power cuts… Every month sees 9,000-yuan ($1,400) losses, according to Zhang Han, a member of those relocated miners.
China’s huge bitcoin mining industry needs a new home after Beijing’s stringent clampdown on cryptocurrency exchanges since last year. Bitcoin miners are forced to move to other countries – Russia, Iceland, Norway and Canada where hydroelectric energy is abundant with mine-favored climate are attracting a lot interest from large mines; Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam thus become an alternative choice for small and medium-sized ones.
Zhang joined the Exodus crossing the border to Southeast Asia six months ago along with many other miners from south China. He chose to relocate his mining farm in a remote town in Cambodia for the low cost and comparably stable Internet connections there.
“Compared with other miners who choose Vietnam and Myanmar, the electricity in Cambodia is slightly more expensive, but it costs less in other expenses.” Zhang said, “It costs almost the same in Cambodia as industrial electricity price in China, 1.3 yuan ($20 cents) per kilowatt-hour (kWh), but you can take advantage of electricity theft from streetlamp facility with the help of some insiders.”
“Local rent is quite cheap, a 500 square-meter large shack only charges 500,000 riel ($100) per month, and you can hire two local young labors at the cost of only $100.”
Zhang found that running a mining farm in Cambodia costs 10-20% less comparing to his peers in Vietnam and Thailand.
“But hardware maintenance is a challenge, it would cost you a great sum – at least 3 times higher than the cost back in China, especially in hot days when entering March. Buying parts here is really a big headache, we have no choice but to purchase them from China, which would take days or even weeks to have it available in operation here.”
“At times we turn to local miners for help, while they would seize the opportunity to ask for unfairly high price for a tiny fitting.”
Before they moved there, they never known these countries would have frequent power cuts. Even in Thailand where power grid is relatively developed, it is common to suffer abrupt electricity breakdown caused by overloading, not to mention massive power consumption of bitcoin mining. And the breakdown usually lasts for a whole day, it’s totally a nightmare for miners.
Though they can steal electricity from some public facilities like streetlamps with the help of some insiders, they cannot stop residents there from reporting it to local authorities.
“It takes huge electricity consumption, coupled with heat and noise made from those mining machines, residents are annoyed and become cold to Chinese miners.”
While these Chinese miners can seek little comfort from their peers as local miners are not on their side. They are jealous of their high-end mining machines, considering their rough ones refitted from computers with numerous fans in a mess. The hash power of a professional mining machine is at least three time larger than these weirdos.
“Apart from the local residents and miners, institutions funded by western countries are also unfriendly to us. They are all trying to squeeze us out of there. And I’m considering that.”