Bitcoin Mining: Coronavirus Outbreak Delays New Equipment
Yet another side-effect of the coronavirus, it seems to have affected Bitcoin’s mining difficulty – “Many miners have been phasing out older mining machines and buying new and more powerful models as we get closer to the halving,” said Jason Wu, the co-founder and CEO of crypto lending startup DeFiner. For example, mining farm tenants have started to replace old machines such as Bitmain’s AntMiner S7 and S9 since the second half of 2019, Wu said.
“The outbreak may have delayed the transition and contributed to the slow growth in mining difficulty,” Wu said.
Miners now keep running the remaining old machines since a high bitcoin price at the moment (above $10,000 since the weekend) keeps such operations profitable, while waiting for new models to be delivered, according to Wu.
Aside from the availability of new equipment, the virus has affected some miners in a more direct way.
“While most mining farms remain open during the Chinese New Year, there have been incidents where mining farms are shut by local governments due to the outbreak,” said Aries Wang, co-founder and CEO of crypto exchange Bibox.
One mining farm owned by mining pool BTC.top’s CEO Zhuoer Jiang was shut down by the local government in an unnamed area in China, Jiang said on Feb. 4 via the social media network Weibo.