One of the biggest trends in financial technology is the rise of crypto-currencies, particularly bitcoin. Until recently, China was the leader in bitcoin mining, which is the process of unlocking new bitcoin and adding it to the existing supply. It is also a process that requires a ton of steady, reliable energy. China’s fall in the cryptocurrency world has opened up space for North America to take over and take this cryptocurrency to new heights.
What Happened With Bitcoin in China?
Bitcoin mining and trading suffered a huge and sudden crack down this year in Beijing. Of course, bitcoin is not just going to disappear, it will simply have to find a new place to migrate. Before this massive ban, China had as much as a 46% share of the Bitcoin Market.
China has also been a source of intense political and climatic instability that has made consistent bitcoin mining hard. A change was inevitable.
How Is The US Prepared?
While the time is finally right for the US to take over this market, this event is something the U.S has been preparing for years. U.S. mining operators began building up the mining ecosystem in the country right after bitcoin crashed in late 2017. This was referred to as the crypto winter.
The huge state of Texas has some of the lowest energy prices in the world. U.S. based power plants average a cost of 7.01 cents per kilowatt hour, making them some of the least expensive sources of power in the world. As mentioned earlier, bitcoin mining requires a lot of stable energy. The U.S is not known for ongoing blackouts and power costs tend to be rather consistent. Not only does the U.S. have cost-effective energy, many of the energy sources are renewable.
On the other hand, energy costs can vary widely in China. China’s rainy seasons are a great source of cheap hydraulic energy. Unfortunately, when the dry season hits, bitcoin mining also dries up. Miners in the country actually have to physically pack up and move their hosting operations until it rains again. Such extreme movement would not be necessary when hosting sites in the United States. As a result, America’s climate stability is just as appealing as its energy stability when miners are looking for a new place to relocate their operations.
The United States also provides better jurisdictional stability. In order for such a huge crackdown to happen in the US as it happened in China, it would have to go through a series of checks and balances. Individual states also have more control than provinces in China have when it comes to business. For example, the state of Texas has control over its own power grid. This created a huge problem when the state suffered a blackout due to a winter freeze last year. However, it does show some state control when it comes to business and energy. The United States also provides protection for private property, particularly financial assets.
While Covid has been a strain on the worldwide economy, stimulus payments provided a light at the end of the tunnel for bitcoin mining. People began looking for more investments and places to park their money during this unstable time. Stimulus checks provided good capital for newcomers to get involved in cryptocurrency.
What Role Does Canada Play?
The United States is not the only place in North America that is a ripe spot for bitcoin mining relocation. Thanks to Alberta Canada’s natural gas producing sites, the area can host up to 1 million of the bitcoin mining machines that are being relocated from China. This potential contract may fuel the Canadian economy for 24 months.
If this deal goes through, fossil fuels will be used to power this investment. It would also give the area a chance to represent one-third of global mining capacity. However, there is concern about emissions compliance. Since 2007, Alberta has greatly reduced electricity emissions and an increase in bitcoin mining could set that back.
What Are Some Economic Considerations?
The rise of bitcoin mining in both the United States and Canada should see an increase in related jobs. Bitcoin mining requires a lot of energy production, which means many people will need to operate and maintain these grids. Jobs such as electricians, campus managers, general IT staff,etc will be just some of the jobs needed for such a huge upscale investment. As the continent continues to recover from Covid, this investment could create a huge economic boom that will be felt for years to come.
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