Report: China's Crypto Miners Sent Rigs to US, Canada, Russia

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The Financial Times reported Sunday that many of China's exiled cryptocurrency miners shipped their rigs to four countries: the U.S., Canada, Kazakhstan, and Russia.

The report confirmed the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance's claim that the U.S., Kazakhstan, and Russia had all started contributing more to Bitcoin's hashrate following China's ban on cryptocurrency mining. It also offered a better idea of just how many Bitcoin mining rigs left China due to the crypto-crackdown.

The Financial Times said that "fourteen of the biggest crypto mining companies in the world have moved more than 2m machines out of China in the months following the ban." An additional 700,000 cryptocurrency miners that are malfunctioning or not worth the costs of shipping to other countries are said to be sitting in storage.

The Financial Times' study on China's Bitcoin mining rig exodus

(Image credit: The Financial Times)

It is surprising to see that so many of China's mining rigs ended up in Russia. The  Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance said that Russia's share of Bitcoin's hashrate rose from 7% to 11% following China's ban. The U.S. received fewer rigs from exiled companies, but its share of the hashrate increased from 17% to 35%.

But it's possible that Russian mining operations didn't have anywhere to put the rigs they received from China's exiles. A BitRiver spokesperson, which hosts 200,000 such rigs, told The Financial Times, "the focus of the market has shifted from a lack of equipment to a lack of space for its placement."

It seems the U.S. and Kazakhstan haven't faced those problems. Or at least haven't encountered them on a scale large enough to inhibit the growth of their crypto mining industries. U.S. companies, in particular, have made boastful claims about planning to set up mining operations comprised of tens of thousands of exiled rigs.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.