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Collapse of China’s Bitcoin mining fuels growth of retail crypto mining in Thailand

As Chinese Bitcoin miners closed shop due to the government crackdown on crypto mining and trading, Thai retail miners were able to acquire mining rigs at a much cheaper price.

Bangkok, Thailand / Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Thu, 30 Dec 2021, 10:04 am UTC

China’s massive crypto mining industry, which once dominated the crypto world, collapsed overnight with the government’s renewed crackdown on mining and trading in September. Thailand’s miners are reaping the benefits of this collapse as retail cryptocurrency mining in the country surged this year.

One way Thai miners were able to benefit from the collapse of China’s Bitcoin mining industry was that cheaper mining rigs soon flooded the market. While large mining companies opted to relocate to other countries such as Malaysia, Russia, Kazakhstan, and the United States, smaller miners simply decided to end their operations and tried to recoup their investments by selling their equipment at a much cheaper price.

Thai entrepreneurs such as Pongsakorn Tongtaveenan quickly saw the opportunity and bought whatever Bitcoin mining equipment he can and shipped them all over Southeast Asia. “Chinese miners got rid of their machines and the price collapsed by 30 percent,” Pongsakorn told Al Jazeera.

With his cheaper wares, Pangsakorn was able to sell hundreds of units to retail miners across Thailand before prices returned to more than $13,000 for new miners. He said that most of the hardware he sold is the Bitmain Antminer SH19 Pro that came from Shenzhen.

Most Thai miners concentrate on the world’s largest crypto Bitcoin, which Pangsakorn described as digital gold. “Bitcoin is the gold of the digital world,” he said. “But a mining rig is like gold mining stocks: you’re paid dividends according to the gold price.”

The sudden availability of cheaper Bitcoin miners has created a boom in retail crypto mining across Thailand. “There’s around 100,000 Thai miners now,” he said, adding that each running machine can earn between $30-40 daily.

Thai retail miners range from investors who believe in the future of cryptocurrency to those who are looking for a stable income during the pandemic. “The moment China banned crypto, we were ecstatic,” a Bitcoin enthusiast turned miner said.

He invested around a million baht ($30,000) for his mining setup, which he runs from his garage and is powered by solar energy. “I made it all back in three months,” he revealed.

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