As the Coronavirus epidemic is getting worse, Chinese authorities are shutting down Bitcoin mining farms to contain the spread.
Jiang Zhuoer, the operator of mining pool BTC.Top, revealed on Weibo last Tuesday that his mining facility and several others were shut down by local police, citing the ongoing epidemic.
“I have a mine in a remote suburb. The police came and forced all the mining authorities to shut down,” Jiang wrote. “It is understandable to take a regular… roll call, and strictly prohibit going out, but what’s the benefit of shutting down the mining machine to prevent the epidemic?”
Though the exact location of the mining facility cannot be verified, many comments on the post suggest that it is located in the province of Xinjiang, quite far from the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic.
“Maybe all the other factories have been shut down, and we are no exception,” Jiang added. “If [this continues], most people will die from poverty before they die from the epidemic.”
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The Coronavirus has stalled the economy of China, mainly in the province of Hubei. So far, 638 people have died because of the virus, per official data, and almost 31,500 people are infected.
Good news for miners outside China
Though the Chinese government banned the trading of digital currencies, the country is still leading Bitcoin mining, which is estimated at 65 percent of the total hash rate.
Despite the shut down of Chinese mining facilities, the hash rate of Bitcoin mining is continuously rising, mainly due to the rising prices of the digital currency. This also indicates the possibility of the rise of mining facilities outside China.
In December, the local authorities of Sichuan province were also shutting down crypto mining farms due to the electricity shortage in the dry season.