CHINA’S UNWANTED BITCOIN MINERS MAY MOVE TO CANADA

CHINA’S UNWANTED BITCOIN MINERS MAY MOVE TO CANADA

By Daniel Shane February 9, 2018: 2:31 AM ET

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Once the global hub for all things bitcoin, China is now doing its best to drive the cryptocurrency out of its territory.

After cracking down last year on exchanges where digital currencies are traded, the Chinese government has recently been moving quietly to evict the country’s vast community of bitcoin miners. That’s forcing them to look into moving to other countries, with Canada attracting a lot of interest.

Unlike traditional currencies like the dollar, the creation of bitcoin isn’t controlled by central banks. Instead, it’s “mined” by computer algorithms that solve increasingly complex math problems.

People can earn money unearthing cryptocurrencies from the digital deep by running the mining software on computer systems of varying sizes, a process that requires a lot of electricity.

Related: What is bitcoin?

About 60% of all cryptocurrency mining takes place in China, according to a study last year by the University of Cambridge. The country is a good fit for the activity because of the cheap electricity and land available in provincial areas.

But the industry is feeling unwelcome these days.

China’s unwanted bitcoin miners may move to Canada

By Daniel Shane February 9, 2018: 2:31 AM ET

Once the global hub for all things bitcoin, China is now doing its best to drive the cryptocurrency out of its territory.

After cracking down last year on exchanges where digital currencies are traded, the Chinese government has recently been moving quietly to evict the country’s vast community of bitcoin miners. That’s forcing them to look into moving to other countries, with Canada attracting a lot of interest.

Unlike traditional currencies like the dollar, the creation of bitcoin isn’t controlled by central banks. Instead, it’s “mined” by computer algorithms that solve increasingly complex math problems.

People can earn money unearthing cryptocurrencies from the digital deep by running the mining software on computer systems of varying sizes, a process that requires a lot of electricity.

Related: What is bitcoin?

About 60% of all cryptocurrency mining takes place in China, according to a study last year by the University of Cambridge. The country is a good fit for the activity because of the cheap electricity and landavailable in provincial areas.

But the industry is feeling unwelcome these days.

“It’s a hard time for the mining business in China,” said Jack Liao, who owns several bitcoin mines in the country.

He said in a recent interview with CNNMoney that he’s thinking about moving some of his operations overseas, with Canada, the U.S. and Iceland among the top candidates. Liao is the CEO of cryptocurrency mining firm Lightningasic, which is based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

Five other owners of bitcoin mines in China also told CNNMoney in the past month that they were considering moving operations out of the country because of pressure from the government. Most declined to be identified by name for this article due to the sensitivity of the situation.

Related: Bitcoin’s ‘many problems’ puzzle regulators

The Chinese government wants cryptocurrency miners to make an “orderly exit” from the industry because their operations are bad for the environment, don’t pay tax and can be a fire hazard, Liao said, citing reports in Chinese state-run media.

“It’s a hard time for the mining business in China,” said Jack Liao, who owns several bitcoin mines in the country.

He said in a recent interview with CNNMoney that he’s thinking about moving some of his operations overseas, with Canada, the U.S. and Iceland among the top candidates. Liao is the CEO of cryptocurrency mining firm Lightningasic, which is based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

Five other owners of bitcoin mines in China also told CNNMoney in the past month that they were considering moving operations out of the country because of pressure from the government. Most declined to be identified by name for this article due to the sensitivity of the situation.

Related: Bitcoin’s ‘many problems’ puzzle regulators

The Chinese government wants cryptocurrency miners to make an “orderly exit” from the industry because their operations are bad for the environment, don’t pay tax and can be a fire hazard, Liao said, citing reports in Chinese state-run media.

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