While is is still far too early to really understand the true impacts of China’s most recent September 2021 ban against all things Bitcoin, one thing is clear: in a significant short-term win for Bitcoin and privacy advocates worldwide, every single one of China’s Bitcoin Mining Pools ARE STILL MINING BITCOIN and sending bitcoin transactions to mining pool members as of the end of September, 2021, even days after the most recent order to stop operations!
Considering China’s major Bitcoin Mining Pools, F2Pool (17.74%), AntPool (15.9%), ViaBTC (12.9%), and Poolin (12.44%) are the largest in the world, as of September 28th, 2021, and since these bitcoin mining pools currently account for more than 50% of the Bitcoin Network’s Overall Hash Rate, it is significant news to see they are still operating with seemingly no worries of consequences coming from Beijing.
Of course, things can change quickly…but right now, it appears all Chinese Bitcoin Mining Pools are still operating at full strength. Yes, some people will say that a mining pool’s location is not relevant because users are worldwide, and mining pools are not technically mining and are instead just tracking user statistics and distributing rewards according to user contributions, but there are many people who don’t understand the true risks of having a mining pool located in a location that is hostile towards cryptocurrency. Despite the risks, very few users have pulled their machines off of these mining pools based in China, with most of their overall hash rates remaining near averages or even increasing after the “bitcoin mining ban of September, 2021.” So, while you may be reading news articles indicating general fear around the Bitcoin world, particularly in China- the blockchain data available to the world shows a different story taking place altogether.
Some mining equipment resellers have reported being forced to stop their operations, however many of them are sellers who operate on the Alibaba marketplace which is also headquartered in China and forced to comply with CCP orders. Other mining equipment resellers, even those in China, have continued to operate as usual, while simply selling through different marketplaces aside from Alibaba. Bitcoin miners worldwide continue to hope for the advancement of Bitcoin, and it seems the leadership in China, and certainly the leaders of China’s Bitcoin Mining Pools, understand the importance of maintaining their grip on the bitcoin mining market- despite the regulations coming out that may indicate something to the contrary for the general public in China. Obviously, for decentralization and security of the Bitcoin Network, it is not healthy to have several entities controlling a large share of the network- and it’s especially concerning for them all to be headquartered in a place that is supposedly hostile to their very operations and certainly hostile, at best, towards Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency.
Beijing, China-based Bitmain, the world’s largest bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer and retailer of the market-leading Bitmain Antminer series, still is showing equipment for sale on their website and they are still presumably taking payments as well (perhaps even in Bitcoin?). Bitmain also is the owner and operator of the China-based Antpool, which is currently the 2nd largest mining pool in the world. Overall, seeing Bitmain continue to operate as usual is one of the most positive signs the industry could have.
While many people in the Bitcoin world have been through several other “bans” by China, the orders issued in September of 2021 are inarguably the most severe orders that have been issued yet by the Chinese Communist Party. Many people still feel that there is no way to ultimately “ban” Bitcoin, but the efforts being undertaken in China right now are certainly an attempt. However, many of Bitcoin’s greatest minds and innovators reside in China and are currently struck with quite a conundrum that nobody would enjoy: do they stay and obey, or leave and pursue the Bitcoin and Crypto dream? Hopefully, soon enough, both will be possible, and some of the giants of the industry are doing their part to help bring this to fruition by currently operating without fear or repercussions.
Nonetheless, Bitcoin prices have not yet tumbled as drastically as some “experts” said they would and also we have not yet seen a further exodus of Chinese Miners en masse beyond those who already had been looking to move their operations from China to places like the USA in their own spaces or for hosting arrangements with companies like MinedPool Technologies, and/or to other locations with abundant cheap power like Kazakhstan and other areas.
Since China’s most recent ban, current and prospective bitcoin miners worldwide have been wondering what the impacts could be-particularly to China’s Bitcoin Mining Pools, which have miners from across the world hooked up to their platforms.
Everyone from the solo miner with one machine at home, to even many of the largest miners in the world, use some of the Chinese mining pools to run their machines on, and some miner hosting services like Blockstream, Core Scientific, Compass Mining, and MinedPool Technologies, all allow their members to mine with these mining pools, so it is of the utmost significance to ensure all miner funds are kept safe and not suddenly lost by a Chinese mining pool shutting down due to governmental pressure. Fortunately, in a very bullish sign for Bitcoin, we aren’t seeing anything negative happening yet that indicates these mining pools are going to shut down-but it is best to tread with caution and “never say never.” However, while most mining pools seem to be running as normal, some Chinese companies, like Huobi Global, have reportedly already restricted sign-ups for any customers in mainland China- so clearly some companies are taking this most recent “ban” more seriously than others.
Perhaps China’s largest bitcoin mining pools have some sort of secret “pass” that is unbeknownst to the rest of the world, or perhaps they are not entirely worried about any decrees made by the Chinese Government because they are imminently planning to move their operations elsewhere like BTC.com- another large bitcoin miner and mining pool that was started in China- chose to do when it relocated to Kazakhstan earlier in 2021 after Chinese authorities refused to supply adequate power to BTC.com’s operations.
Regardless of the exact reasons behind the moves, one thing is clear: most of China’s bitcoin mining pools are not budging yet when it comes to China’s most recent attempted “ban,” and all of China’s major mining pools are still operating as normal, based on publicly available data.
In fact, based on publicly available blockchain data- these mining pools have continued to accumulate BTC at an incredible rate, and- even after China’s supposed crackdown on all things Bitcoin and crypto- they have been responsible for a majority of Bitcoin Mining Rewards/Bitcoin Blocks Found.
Here are just a couple of random snippets from BTC.com’s blockchain data, from September 26th, 2021, and September 27th, 2021, respectively, to help illustrate the continued dominance of China’s Bitcoin Mining Pools even after the most recent attempts to stop bitcoin mining and trading operations within China.
Certainly, at any time, one or more of the Chinese mining pools could easily shut down without any notice-OR they even could ALL be forced to shut down. If something like this happens, we’ll definitely see the data and will release the news as soon as it is available. But, for right now, people seem to be completely unbothered by any prospects of a potential mining pool shutdown. Whether more disruptions are on the way for China’s bitcoin miners, or are not, only time will tell.
What if you want to join a bitcoin mining pool that is not headquartered in China, are there any options?
You are in luck, because there are several Bitcoin Mining Pools available to the general public with as little as 1 mining machine that are headquartered in places other than China, including the world’s oldest mining pool-SlushPool (based in Czech Republic), Binance Pool (“no official headquarters,” but different documents list the offices as either in Malta and/or Singapore), or the brand new and innovative MinedPool Mining Pool (USA) just to name a few.
If/when anything changes regarding the mining pool situation in China here in late 2021 going into 2022 and beyond, since this is a very important story to monitor for MinedPool Members and bitcoin lovers worldwide, we’ll be sure to update the world as quickly as possible in order to help everyone to understand the current environment in China as it pertains to bitcoin mining, crypto trading, and crypto mining.
Until more news comes out that gives you reason to change your stance, most bitcoin miners and advocates alike would say it’s best to just not worry and to keep happily mining and hodling your bitcoin.
And, of course, be sure to stay tuned to the MinedPool Technologies blog for the best news about bitcoin, bitcoin mining, crypto, and more!