China returns to the Bitcoin mining map, but clandestinely

Key facts:
The mining power that China contributes to Bitcoin is currently around 45 EH/s.
Miners discovered by Chinese authorities could face legal charges.
Bitcoin mining in China, which has continued to operate underground following government bans, currently ranks second in global Bitcoin hashrate.

The Cambridge University Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF) has re-included Chinese miners in its statistics, following a recent update to its web platform. To the surprise of many, the mining power from the Asian giant represents 21.11% of the total hashrate of Bitcoin.

The 45 EH/s of power that Bitcoin mining averages in China are not at all discreet, if one takes into account the secrecy to which said activity is subjected in that nation.

It is important to note that the Government of China began a crusade to ban Bitcoin mining in various regions of its territory in mid-2021, as reported by CriptoNoticias.

China, where more than 50% of Bitcoin’s computing power resided, was left without representation by some of the most important mining farms and pools in the niche.

These were forced to emigrate to other countries, while the independent farms and miners who did not would have two options: sell their equipment and retire or try to mine on the sly.

The exodus of major Bitcoin mining companies out of China was the perfect opportunity for other countries to take the lead in producing blocks from the BTC network. Kazakhstan and the United States were some of the favorite destinations for Bitcoin miners, with the North American nation being the one that has maintained the leadership of the Bitcoin hashrate by country ever since.

In a tweet, the CCAF commented on China’s re-emergence on the Bitcoin mining map. In addition, they described that for the first time the map offers data on the activity in each US state, which currently concentrates more than 35% of the network’s hashrate in its territory.

Underground Bitcoin mining in China
The existence of active miners in China is not new. At the end of 2021, CriptoNoticias shared a report made by the CNBC network in which it was already estimated that approximately 20% of the total Bitcoin hashrate came from this country.

According to the information in said report, Chinese miners have used the redistribution of their equipment in a segregated manner, in order not to arouse suspicion due to significant increases in electricity consumption.

Other strategies consist of locating in remote places where they can use alternative energy sources and mining Bitcoin in pools located in other countries.

The problem with engaging in mining in Chinese territory today is the consequences that anyone caught by local authorities may face; which can range from the confiscation of all mining equipment, to being added to government blacklists or being charged with criminal charges.