The Bitcoin network again shows the resilience of distributed ledger technology (DLT). A Reddit post, June 30, 2018, provided details of thousands of mining rigs destroyed by heavy floods in China. China News Service (CNS) reported that heavy rainfall began June 26 and that it would continue through to early July. Initial estimates put the losses from the floods at USD 111 million.
Google translates the Chinese language websites as “tens of thousands of mines” have been destroyed. As each crypto mine in China would normally have hundreds or thousands of rigs, it could suggest that millions of rigs have been put out of action. The correct translation of the Chinese text confirms the number relates to rigs (mining machines) and not mines (rig sites).
Facebook shows a series of pictures of utter devastation at some of the mines. The image below from popular photo hosting site Imgur depicts hundreds of destroyed rigs. They look to be Bitmain Antminer’s and presumably a large proportion were mining bitcoin (BTC) or bitcoin cash (BCH).
China is believed to have as much as 70% of the world’s hashing power for bitcoin, but even with the outage of tens of thousands of rigs, the network has largely been unaffected. Many of the affected crypto mining rigs were in the Chinese region of Sichuan in the south west of the country. In recent years the area has been developed into a modern high-tech industrial base with crypto mining benefiting from low-cost hydroelectric power.
Devastation on a scale caused by the torrential rainfall in China would normally shut down centralized networks for days, if not weeks. The Bitcoin network has operated as usual, regardless of the flooding. Distributed ledger technology (DLT) used by the Bitcoin network means there is no central point of failure. This has ensured that the network has operated without fault since it was introduced in 2009.
Financial analyst, smartphone app designer, technical writer, and crypto enthusiast. Blockchain verified graduate of MOOC 9, DFIN-511: Introduction to Digital Currencies, run by the University of Nicosia.