Mining bitcoin could be about to get a whole lot easier after China’s crypto crackdown – CNBC

Mining bitcoin could be about to get a whole lot easier after China’s crypto crackdown – CNBC

LAN network cables plugged into a Bitcoin mining computer server are pictured in Bitminer Factory in Florence, Italy, April 6, 2018.

Alessandro Bianchi | Reuters

With China cracking down on cryptocurrencies, it may soon become much easier — and more profitable — to mine bitcoin.

Last month, Beijing called for measures to stamp out bitcoin mining amid concerns over its environmental impact. This has already resulted in crypto miners fleeing China for other regions, like North America.

China’s crackdown intensified over the weekend, with authorities in the hydropower-rich Chinese province of Sichuan ordering crypto miners to shut down operations.

According to reports, more than 90% of China’s bitcoin mining capacity is estimated to be closed. It is thought that between 65% to 75% of all global bitcoin mining takes place in China.

Though it may not be good news for bitcoin miners in China, others could stand to benefit.

What is bitcoin mining?

When you think of mining, the image of a gold mine with picks and shovels is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But bitcoin mining is nothing like hunting for gold or other precious metals.

Digital currencies are underpinned by a vast network of computers around the world. In the case of bitcoin, these computers are racing to solve complex math puzzles in order to make transactions go through. This process also generates new bitcoins, rewarding miners in the cryptocurrency if they’re successful.