Major “mining” provinces have successively requested the withdrawal of bitcoin mines, and China’s history of large-scale mining has stalled. Blue Whale Finance and Oukelian News, through field inspections and later interviews, sorted out the development history of the “important town” of the mine, and recorded the traces of the cryptocurrency gold rush.
Inner Mongolia Ordos
Legendary mine “remains”
“Prairie Silicon Valley”
Xinjiang Zhundong : Demystifying the ” Heart of Computing Power “
The curtain call of the “Seven King Kong”
Generate power for computing power
Western Sichuan : The Flower of Computing Power under the High Mountains
The “past tense” of small hydropower mines
Silent Elimination Garden
Dense exhaust fans, cooling water curtains and power distribution facilities are standard equipment for a cryptocurrency mine.
Not surprisingly, a few kilometers away, the towering chimneys of a thermal power plant were bubbling with gas, distillation towers stood like a concrete mountain, and power transmission cables carried the undercurrent of wealth creation at high speed. If in the mountains and rivers of Sichuan and Yunnan, not far from the power stations on both sides of the strait, the potential energy of the current will eventually be converted into an invisible string.
(Photo by mines in Zhundong District, Xinjiang/Oukelian News)
Bitcoin “mining” is a number quiz between machines. Each machine is looking for a random number, combining with the existing information in the block, and calculating a value through a specific function to match the hidden target value. This is a mechanically and continuously exhaustive process. When the “right” random number is spent at home, the corresponding mining machine holder “miner” obtains the “accounting right” and completes the transaction data packaging process to obtain a fixed amount Bitcoin rewards. Today, this number quiz draws millions of prizes almost every ten minutes.
The advent of the dedicated mining equipment “mining machine” is equivalent to the technological take-off of the encryption world. From CPU to ASIC, the chips used in Bitcoin “mining” calculations continue to evolve. Mining machines assembled from chip boards allow calculations per unit of time. That is, the “computing power” increases exponentially. When Bitcoin can be produced on a large scale, mining machine manufacturers and sensitive followers began to build factories in various places to centrally operate mining machines, which is commonly known as “mines.”
Rows of machines run at high speed to release heat, and the outside of the machine room has to be covered with fans and water curtains to dissipate heat. This creates a unique appearance of the “mine” and constitutes the scene at the beginning of the article. As long as the currency price market is gratifying, there is no need to worry about no customers. After the first quarter of 2021, the market continues the magical market, the mining machines are out of stock, and the pre-sale orders are scheduled to the end of 2022.
On April 16, 2021, the unit price of Bitcoin reached the peak of this bull market at $62,000. On the same day, the mine in the Zhundong area of Xinjiang suffered a power outage due to a safety check, and the “hash rate heart” was in a sudden stop. On the same day, the Chengdu Mining Summit had just kicked off. After dispelling rumors that the Xinjiang mining farm was unimpeded, the guests continued to rush to meet their friends safely. Just over a month later, the feast of crypto mining came to an abrupt end. Major “mining” provinces such as Xinjiang and Sichuan have successively requested the withdrawal of bitcoin mines, and the global computing power has fallen by more than half. Before the history of large-scale mining in China almost disappeared, Blue Whale Finance and Oukelian News came from Mongolia and Xinjiang, where thermal power mines are concentrated, to Sichuan, where hydropower mines are distributed. The development process of the “important town” of the mining farm, the top of the network computing power, has re-taken this “road of computing power” that runs through the north and the south.
Ordos, Inner Mongolia: Legendary Mine “Relics”
In 2013, the era of dedicated mining chips came, and the production efficiency of mining machines was greatly accelerated, which was attributed to the research and development results of the Chinese wizard Jiang Xinyu. In November of that year, the price of Bitcoin exceeded $1,000 for the first time. Stimulated by the advancement of tools and economic benefits, mining farms emerged in China.
Inner Mongolia is one of the earliest mine sites in the industry. As the largest coal-producing city in Inner Mongolia, Ordos is rich in power resources. The announced coal-bearing area accounts for about 70% of the city’s total area, and the proven coal reserves of 193 billion tons account for 1/6 of the country.
“Black gold” once made this city after the millennium, plunged it into real estate and financial bubbles, and made it escape from the “ghost city”. The endowment of coal resources continues to favor Ordos. Relying on low and stable electricity and other conditions, Ordos became a key area for the development of the cloud computing industry in 2010. It also serves large-scale machine computing and is destined to become a natural treasure for cryptocurrency mining.
The “Hashing Power Monster” that once ranked first in the world has been haunted here. This is a legendary mine. The bustling figures are all giants in the future, and the time fragments of grievances and clutches can be connected into a turbulent brief history of mining.
A veteran industry person recalled that the first “Bao Erye” established a mine in Inner Mongolia, located in Ordos.
The start of large-scale mining in Inner Mongolia can be traced back to 2013. It is said that Zhao Dong, the CTO and founder of Renrenbit, deployed a mine in Ordos before Moji Weather. Its partners responded to Blue Whale Finance’s statement that “time is before and after.” In 2014, the cryptocurrency industry, known as “Bao Er Ye”, counterattacked the giant Guo Hongcai and intervened in the Yihang Mine in Ordos. The two are from Shanxi, and the latter’s mine won in terms of scale, which left a deeper impression on the circle.
The Dalat Banner local work review mentioned that Yihang Cloud Computing was completed and put into production in 2014. Its founding shareholder is the chairman of the NEEQ company Yihang Internet. “Bao Erye” formally took over in 2015 and changed its name to “Bitbank”. The most exposed identity of this plant is the “world’s largest mine” of the mining machine manufacturer Bitmain.
(Photo by the original Bitmain Dalat Banner Mine / Oukelian News)
The visit came to the site of this mine. The plant is located at Weisan Road, Sanweiliang Industrial Park, Dalat Economic Development Zone. On the Gaode map, this place is marked as “Three Moisture Beams”. “Bao Erye” once compared it to a chicken farm, which can produce hundreds of bitcoins a day at the beginning of its construction.
Upon arrival, it was discovered that the handwriting of “Bitmain” (Bitmain’s English name) printed on the side of the color steel plate house was now withered, and the words “Bitbank” (a related project of Baoerye) printed before that had no traces. The roller shutter of the machine room is closed tightly, and the position of the fan is replaced by a wooden board, and the interior is empty. The “Ordos Chuangke Cloud Technology Co., Ltd.” brand faintly visible on the marble brick column peeled off. The once premier mine has been abandoned for a long time, and the giant beast fell asleep.
(Photo by the original Bitmain Dalat Banner Mine / Oukelian News)
In August 2017, multinational media and investors came to visit. As the hosting mine of Bitmain, it has entered the public eye. There were 21,000 Bitcoin mining machines and 4,000 Litecoin mining machines in the eight rows of blue-roofed bungalows . The Bitcoin computing power produced here once accounted for nearly one-twentieth of the entire network, and the annual electricity bill was nearly 100 million yuan.
According to “Bao Erye”, Bitmain stole this mine from him.
In an industry event, when he talked about the past, he revealed that in 2015, a student named Wu Jihan, the founder of Bitmain, rented the mine at a high price, and the management committee leased the site to a higher bid. By. “Bao Erye” claimed that there was still a three-year contract, and the house belonged to the management committee, but the mine racks, fans, weak current facilities, cables, etc. were self-built at a cost of 20 million yuan. He recalled that it was the Spring Festival and there was no place for Bitmain’s machines.
“Bao Erye” proposed to sell the mine at a depreciation price of 15 million yuan, but Bitmain’s willing price was 4 million yuan. Due to the fact that Bitmain’s machines and personnel have moved into the factory, the attitude is strong. Despite his unhappiness, he finally accepted the offer. Zhang Ling (pseudonym), an old employee of the mine, told Okechain News that the power consumption of the managed mining machine was not enough and there was a surplus load in the mine. Bitmain contacted the management committee and “grabbed” the mine. past.
This mine has a complicated pedigree, and Bitmain was involved in it. ” Tencent Prism”, which was invited to visit at the time , mentioned in a follow-up article that Bitmain took over the mine of “Friendly Merchant” Jianan Zhizhi. According to the industry media “Planet Daily”, the mine is jointly invested by Huobi.com, Bitmain and Jianan Zhizhi. “Bao Erye” himself stated that it was Huobi.com, China Bitcoin and Bitmain who invested in the machines. He obtained the shares and became the actual controller of the mine. For the reasons behind and the benefits of mine away, “Bao Er Ye” did not respond, but the resulting transfer of money to invest encryption currency Ethernet Square gobbled up stories circulating in the industry.
The “Chinese Bitcoin” referred to by “Bao Erye”, that is, China Bit, is the predecessor of the cryptocurrency exchange ZB, and was actually one of the shareholders of this mine. During the conversation with CoinVoice, Wu Huawei, former partner of ZB and chairman of Huaying Holdings, said that this was the “world’s largest mine” at the time. The company spent RMB 7 to 8 million in investment, and later paid RMB 1.7 million due to poor management. Yuan was sold to Bitmain. In April 2019, ZB ZB’s company Longtai Cloud Computing in Ordos was cancelled. At the time, Dragon Mine Technology was also a joint shareholder. How many industry veterans have fought against each other in this mine. What everyone remembers is the rich cryptocurrency who saved the game.
After the change of hands, when the imprint of “Bao Erye” here became a thing of the past, this mine did not end its journey.
In August 2016, Dalat Banner announced that the Bitmain cloud computing project was a key project introduced that year, with a total investment of 400 million yuan and an area of 50 acres. After the project is completed and put into use, it is expected to achieve an annual output value of 150 million yuan. The mine officially changed its name to “Bitmain” and entered a new track.
During the peak period of this mine, it is said that it produced 100,000 bitcoins per year. Based on a unit price of US$1,000 at the beginning of 2017, the annual market value of the mine was close to 700 million yuan. The mining machines hosting customers can only charge the difference in electricity charges. Of the hundreds of millions of output value, it is not known how many can be included in the Bitmain bag. According to the previous prospectus, Bitmain’s adjusted net profit in 2017 exceeded US$900 million.
At that time, its daily power consumption was about 700,000 kilowatts, which could be used by an ordinary family for hundreds of years. Benefiting from the previous support policy for “cloud computing” companies, Bitmain once told visitors that they could get less than two cents of electricity, and the electricity bill per day was more than 200,000. Zhang Ling recalled that the electricity bill in the early days was 0.36 yuan per kilowatt-hour, and the subsidized price of Bitmain was 0.29 yuan per kilowatt-hour, and later it rose by more than 0.3 yuan per kilowatt-hour.
Since the veil was lifted, life is no longer peaceful, and the supervision of virtual currencies also followed in the following year. In November 2017, the local Economic and Information Bureau issued a request for power reduction or exemption of Bitmain Dalat branch. In order to avoid production accidents and malicious hype in the local cloud computing industry, the mine was ordered to suspend production in the previous month for rectification, and online shopping in October Electricity is reduced by more than 6.73 million kilowatt-hours compared with the plan, and the application is calculated as more than 15.1 million kilowatt-hours. According to estimates, the mine stopped production for more than 9 days that month. The so-called hype is inseparable from the related publicity activities of the “world’s largest mine”.
Six months after the guests at the Dalat Banner banquet, they saw “the building collapsed.” At the beginning of 2018, this mine was suspended.
At that time, Inner Mongolia had rectified mining enterprises. In December 2017, the Inner Mongolia Mutual Gold Renovation Office issued the “Notice on Guiding the Orderly Exit of Virtual Currency “Mining” Enterprises in Our District” to Baotou, Ordos, Bayannaoer, and Wuhai Mutual Gold Renovation Offices. Prior to this, the nationwide supervision of virtual currency, ICO financing and exchanges has been launched one after another. The Ordos City Mutual Gold Renovation Office issued a corresponding notice in January 2018, calling it restricting the virtual currency “mining” industry, etc., and comprehensively adopting measures such as electricity prices, land, taxation and environmental protection to guide relevant “mining” companies to exit in an orderly manner. Encourage the transition to state-supported cloud computing companies. This mine fell in the first round of remediation against mining companies. Zhang Ling believes that public exposure has also contributed to the closure of the mine.
In August 2018, the Dalat branch of Bitmain was fined RMB 1950 by the local tax authority for failing to submit information as required. It should have been closed at that time. The company was completely deregistered in 2020. Since then, Bitmain has hosted mining machines in Shangdu Town, Zhenglan Banner, Inner Mongolia.
According to an old employee’s description, due to the proximity to the desert, when the road in the park hadn’t hardened, the wind blew all over the face with yellow sand. Nowadays, there is a concrete road in front of you, and the screen next to the electric door is scrolling with the red letter “cloud computing welcomes you”. Regarding the number of personnel, “Bao Erye” is already on the other side of the ocean, and Bitmain has experienced the separation of the founders. The “Three Energizing Beams of Sands” gathered the early cryptocurrency nuggets, and everyone cooperated for their own interests and competed for their own interests. In the end, it was difficult to distinguish the winner or the loser.
A source close to the mine revealed that a well-known capital acquired the above-mentioned plant in 2018. The founder of the latter responded that the transaction was ultimately not completed. It is said that it was acquired by a Shenzhen company in the later period, and a report from Southern Weekend mentioned that the new owner after changing hands a year ago is a quartz manufacturing company. On a weekend in June, the mine that had been open all year round was unmanned, and there were no signs of new companies entering the plant. The situation is changing, and when the mining industry makes a comeback again, a mine with 20,000 machines can only be called a medium-sized mine.
After the factory buildings in Sanweiliang Industrial Park were abandoned, except for some low-key operation of small and medium-sized mines, with the development of the big data room in the technology park, mining machines have found a new safe place, 80 kilometers away in the Ordos High-tech Zone. The cloud computing industry park began to roar.
” Prairie Silicon Valley “
At the crossroads of the industrial park, there is a sign of “Clouds gather in Ordos, Counting Grassland Silicon Valley”, reflecting the green trees and distant mountains. There are more than ten workshops in the park, with sporadic people walking around, and only a few companies are operating, including China Unicom and Inner Mongolia Weidong Gaotou Big Data. Traces of mining companies are hard to find. A large-scale substation uplifted from the ground has suddenly appeared, indicating that there should be high-power-consuming companies here.
(Photo by Cloud Computing Park and Substation / Oukelian News)
The well-known capital alleged to be acquiring the Bitmain mine came to the park to discuss cooperation in 2017, and began to build a computer room the following year, which was completed in 2019.
Two people in the park talked about cryptocurrency mining in computer rooms 3, 6, and 8, and the mining machines have been removed from April.
The front door of the machine room was locked tightly, and it was vaguely visible that there were still a few shelves inside, and most of the objects had been emptied. Among them, No. 3 computer room belongs to Ordos Sinobot Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Sinobot”), only the transformer outside the house has been exposed to the sun.
Sinobert started recruitment preparations at the beginning of 2020, and entered the first phase of the industrial park as the first local blockchain artificial intelligence project in November of that year. The announced investment was 100 million yuan, with a construction area of 19,000 square meters and a design of 4,800 cabinets. From the outside, the outer wall of the machine room where the mining machine has been deployed is covered with rainproof and ventilated louvers, and this machine room is no exception.
Only the second year after entering the park, the glass door of Sinobert’s computer room was locked. On working days, the transformer showed no signs of operation. Sinobert responded that it does not operate an encrypted mine, and still has 3D rendering and other businesses in operation. As the server hosting party, it has notified virtual currency mining customers to take away the machine.
(Photo by the front entrance of No. 3 computer room and transformer equipment / Oukelian News)
Sinobert executives mentioned in the interview that the team’s self-developed GPU cloud service platform. 3D rendering and Ethereum mining both use graphics card GPUs. Ethereum mining consumes less power than Bitcoin, but it is prone to loss in transportation. The demand for the hosting plant is stable year-round electricity, and the big data room provides corresponding conditions.
The aforementioned computer room No. 6 has been vacated and there is no intention to renew the lease. The employee of the No. 8 computer room contacted responded that the computer room is still renting, and the management said that the investment is a compliant business. The first phase of the No. 8 computer room computing industrial park has an investment plan of 250 million yuan, with a load of 50,000 kilowatt-hours. In addition, Tunlan Investment of Xiong’an Fund partner Yao Yongjie also set up the Zhejiang News Tunlan Data Center, which covers an area of 150 acres. The first-phase project investment plan is about 1.5 billion yuan and has a load of 150,000 kilowatt-hours. Here is really a gathering of powerful fighters with strong capital.
There are still two computer rooms under construction in the park, and the interior is still rough. One of the outer windows has not been installed yet, and the ventilated shutters have been pressed. It should be a workshop for supercomputer companies. Compared with the color steel bungalows in Dalat Banner, these two-story computer rooms with brick-concrete structures are expensive to build. Using a standardized data room, the mine entered the era of “luxury advanced version”.
On that day, none of the traffic lights in the park was activated, and one fell to the ground. The scenery of the “Prairie Silicon Valley” in June is lonely. Not far away, there are three large-scale workshops covered with louvers, two of which have no signs of use. Some factories are facing long-term vacancy before they are put into use.
(Photo by the fan on the roof of the No. 6 computer room / Oukelian News)
The withdrawal of cryptocurrency mining is not only a failure of the mining industry, it will also cause losses to plant owners.
The local development zone disclosed that there are 8 standardized data rooms in the first phase of the park, which are constructed by the Ordos High-tech Industry Investment Corporation (hereinafter referred to as “High-tech Investment Company”) and invested by the government. The scale of 114,000 square meters under construction in 2020 will be commissioned and cooperated. Operation in the form of investment promotion and leasing. In addition, some cloud computing companies have invested in self-built data centers in the park.
Listed companies have also been involved in this storm. Di Wei Xun (300167.SZ), who has recently been favored by the “worker emperor” Wicresoft China Chairman Tang Jun, is one of the operators of the park. According to the announcement, at the end of 2014, Diweixun stated that it accounted for 60% of the shares and established Ordos Gaotou Internet Technology in cooperation with Ordos High-tech Zone, responsible for the construction, operation and management of the Ordos Cloud Computing Industrial Park. In the following year, DVS signed a “BT mode” construction project for the No. 4 computer room, with a project value of more than 200 million yuan. The No. 4 computer room was completed at the end of 2016, with a construction area of 20,000 square meters and a capacity of 3006 cabinets. The related party Weidong Gaotou Big Data Center operates here. The investment in the park is also in this building invested by Diweixun.
The so-called BT model means that after the government approves the project, the project party will contract the construction and be responsible for financing, and the factory will be handed over to the owner after passing the inspection and acceptance. The owner will pay the project party the total investment of the project in installments plus a certain return. Take Sinobert as an example, it does not have property rights. If the computer room is vacant for a long period of time, the owner will be under pressure. However, some companies have expressed their willingness to renew the lease.
Construction of the industrial park started in 2014 and officially opened in 2017. The earliest settlers were not mining companies, but were initially built for cloud computing companies. Yuntai Internet, a subsidiary of ZTE Energy, has built its own IDC computer room here since 14 years. In 2019, it has cooperated with Yuner Technology, which is engaged in mining machine hosting business. When talking about local advantages, the roadshow document of Yuntai Internet mentioned that Ordos has extremely rich coal resources, guarantees sufficient power supply and the country’s best electricity prices, and the computer room also has its own power plant. Low price and stable electricity are also the lifeblood of mining companies.
At the end of 2018, the Inner Mongolia Economic and Information Commission approved the implementation of the cloud computing electricity price policy in the Ordos High-tech Zone Cloud Computing Industrial Park, and enjoyed the relevant policies of the power multilateral trading market under the category of “Strategic Emerging Competitive Industries Fully Bidding”, and enterprises entering the park reduced electricity costs. Nearly half. Since then, Ordos City has implemented a preferential policy of 0.26 yuan per kWh when introducing and constructing cloud computing and big data enterprises. I learned from a mining company that it once received an electricity price of 0.26 yuan per kilowatt-hour without other expenses. According to “Oukelian News”, a person from an electric power bureau in other regions of Inner Mongolia learned that the electricity price of 0.23 yuan per kilowatt-hour could be given to local mining companies before, and the price of less than two cents is not enough to cover the cost.
According to the original local mine operators, the preferential electricity price will only cover a few companies, including some IDC computer rooms. However, the high cost of IDC computer room construction will be passed on to users, and large households with resources will still look for Caigangfang mines.
The time has passed. In April, the relocation of mining machines has begun, and the deadline given by local supervision is the end of the month. Inner Mongolia is the first choice for large mining factories and the first province in the country to propose to shut down Bitcoin mining. High-power-consuming companies run counter to the goal of carbon neutrality, and mines cannot escape this battle.
In 2021, the Development and Reform Commission of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region announced in February “Several Safeguard Measures for Ensuring the Completion of the Energy Consumption Dual Control Targets and Tasks of the 14th Five-Year Plan” for comments, mentioning that virtual currency mining projects should be shut down before the end of April; On May 25, a draft of eight measures to punish mining was released for comments. The implementation of this rectification is unprecedented, and the city’s joint law enforcement agencies have participated in the cleanup of mines. The data released in early July was 45. In addition to thermal power mining, a wind power company in a certain area in the autonomous region built its own computer room and used private electricity for mining. It was also investigated and punished.
Mining companies in Inner Mongolia have scattered distribution. In about two months, news of the closure of various mines has been heard continuously. Nowadays, on a land of one million square kilometers, this earliest large-scale mining distribution center is hard to see in the presence of mining companies.
In Aba Prefecture, Sichuan Province, which is 1,500 kilometers away in a straight line, this visit encountered a “miner” Batu (a pseudonym) from Inner Mongolia. Batu, who had hosted mining machines in many places in Inner Mongolia, said frankly that after mining was banned, he immediately pulled thousands of mining machines to Xinjiang, and Xinjiang stopped shortly after.
Xinjiang Zhundong: Demystifying the ” Heart of Computing Power “
On the way to the Gobi area, the drought-resistant shrubs along the road were covered with a layer of gray and yellow. Below the stand of Zhundong Economic Development Zone, there are advertisements for infrastructure business, which are symbols of the industrial zone. After the checkpoint, the substation on the right was spread out in a large area, densely covered with cables, and the scene was magnificent. This is the world’s only 11 million KV UHV converter station, which transmits electricity from the western hinterland to the coastal areas of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai. It is called the “Power Silk Road”.
(The world’s only ±11 million KV UHV converter station Photo by Economic Daily/Liu Wenlong)
As the wheels move forward, the power plants come into view one after another, and the flat open-pit mine glows orange-red in the sunset. Coal resources give the region to the east of the Zhungeer Basin and bordering northwest Urumqi a unique landscape.
After Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang emerged as a major thermal power mining province. Tan Xi (pseudonym), a four-year old miner, mentioned that since 16 years, Xinjiang’s mining farms have gradually increased. The early position was in Shihezi, and then it radiated to the surroundings, as far as Yili, Khorgos and West. Tacheng. In the Zhundong Economic Development Zone, Jimsar County, Changji Prefecture (hereinafter referred to as “Zhundong”), not far from Shihezi, Ling Hao (pseudonym), who has been operating a mine for four years, introduced that Zhundong has a large number of power plants and a cluster of mining farms from 2018 Began to grow in the year.
As an area with sparsely populated land and rich coal power resources, it is only a matter of time before thermal power mines settle here. Since the proposal to build a low electricity price demonstration zone at the end of 2016, through exploration and implementation, Zhundong’s power utilization advantages have become prominent, and it has gradually become the successor to the dominant land of thermal power mines.
According to the statistics of the IP address of the mining farm, the Cambridge New Finance Research Center (CCAF) shows that as of April 2021, the computing power of Xinjiang mining farms accounted for more than half of the country, reaching 54.37%, and covering 24.84% of the world. On April 10, a coal mine flooding accident occurred in Hutubi County within the jurisdiction of Changji Prefecture, and all districts received safety investigations one after another. Starting on the 16th of that month, the Zhundong cryptocurrency mine had a power outage upon request. During this period, the average Bitcoin computing power of the entire network plummeted by nearly 20%, which was almost the same as the total amount in Xinjiang at that time. To bring down Hercules with one hand, this “electric capital” undoubtedly contains large-scale computing power.
In fact, this is a well-known mining resort in the circle. Bitmain, BitFufu, Mars Cloud Mine, Mint Mining, Hash Power 360, etc. all host mining machines here. On June 9, 2021, news of the closure of the Xinjiang mine came from Changji Prefecture. This is also the first region outside Inner Mongolia to issue a cryptocurrency mining ban.
The face of this “important town” of the encryption mine is vague. Blue Whale Finance and Oukelianxun came to Zhundong for a joint visit to find the source of computing power.
The curtain call of the ” Seven King Kong “
It was learned from relevant departments that there are six registered “Data Industrial Park” partners in Zhundong, which are located in Wucaiwan New City, Cainan Industrial Park, Caibei Industrial Park and Jijihu Industrial Park. These are “project mines” that have independent parks and are known in the industry. In the circle, there is also the statement of Zhundong “seven major mines”.
Chip Valley Yunchuang Big Data Center, Dehuixin Cloud Computing, Henglian Cloud Computing Center (Chengyin Mine), and Yunhe Data Industrial Park account for four seats in the project park, and the original largest Ethereum mine , And the uncompleted Maoshi Data Industrial Park. The GCL big data associated with the new energy private giant is among the “big seven”. The scale of each is not inferior to the world’s largest mine in E City.
The Zhundong area is open. From Wucaiwan New City, which is located on the west boundary of the development zone, to the east, the Cainan Industrial Park and Caibei Industrial Park, which are separated by Zhundong Avenue, each have hundreds of square kilometers. Jiji Lake Industrial Park covers an area of thousands of square kilometers. The seven workshops are divided into four areas, connected in a shape that resembles an “arrow”. Today, the constellations on the Gobi have dimmed.
Tan Xi said bluntly, “There is one power station in Zhundong, which does not have a computer room?” There are also small and medium-sized mines with a load of less than 100,000 in the local area. A group of “Arhats” and several “King Kongs” formed the shape of Zhundong’s encrypted mining industry.
(Layout map of the seven major mines / Blue Whale Finance)
A year ago, at the Mining Circle Summit in Chengdu, the rare “mines” in the eastern half of the wall gathered in front of the public. The executives of Bit Express, Xingu Yunchuang, Chengyin Technology, Cloud and Data were seated, and a meeting was held. The long table carries a huge amount of rich electricity.
When Xinjiang Power Grid announced its electricity sales in January, it mentioned a few major customers, including Dehuixin and Yunhe Data, as well as new customers Xingu Yunchuang and GCL Big Data in 2020. In the first quarter, Xinjiang State Grid again mentioned cloud and data and Chengyin Technology as a major customer. In the entire Xinjiang, these Zhundong mines take turns taking turns, making them one of the largest power purchasers.
Based on the published upper limit of the data, the total power load of the seven major plants exceeded 3 million kilowatt-hours, which was nearly a hundred times that of the “largest mine” in E city that year, and the daily consumption could reach the daily power supply of some fourth-tier cities. However, many mine owners commented that the actual load cannot reach the highest value. On the one hand, it will not be fully used. On the other hand, the capacity of equipment such as transformers on the site is limited, and the figures are almost falsely high.
Thanks to the land area, some parks have large double-digit computer rooms with enough space. After Inner Mongolia issued an order to shut down virtual currency digging, some customers immediately found the Zhundong large mine to host the mining machine. The opportunities were flooding and the risks were surging. On June 6, people in the industry have received news that the local encryption mine in Xinjiang will be shut down. At the same time, until June 8, staff from Zhundong Mine were still actively proposing tax plans.
On June 9, the day the document was issued, several mines were notified to shut down. Even the behemoth had to remove its heavy body immediately.
This blizzard in the mining industry caused a large area of impact, but it did not evacuate the factory building, leaving a piece of white land and it was really clean. After the shutdown, the mines whose revenues are intercepted are on the electricity bills, debt collection by the project party, logistics costs for the placement of the mining machines, and the cancellation of the customer’s contract.
One of them was “strangled” jointly by the power company and the engineering company, and a dramatic “mining machine escape” occurred.
A few days after the power outage, the power company immediately applied to freeze some of the assets of several mines and demanded the payment of the remaining electricity charges. Some mines are operating while expanding, and there are uninterrupted construction funds to be paid. The project payment in arrears has also become a sequelae of mine clearance. Chip Valley Yunchuang was applied by two parties to seize hundreds of millions of assets, and the client’s mining machine was also required to be seized.
In the first two weeks, all machines in the huge computer room of Core Valley Cloud were strictly forbidden to be pulled away for the purpose of property preservation. The staff also expressed helplessness. It is understood that the mine originally negotiated to transfer the customer’s machine, and more than 20 large vehicles and nearly a hundred workers were gathered outside the site, but in the end they left empty.
At night, the court and the public security system were stationed to guard it, and few customers were involved in smuggling. The silent mine is waiting for an opportunity to prepare for the “hurricane rescue” in the next few days.
(Photo by two mines at night / Oukelian News)
On the evening of the 16th, people from the surrounding area heard obvious noises in the mine and believed that Xingu Yunchuang moved the mining machine away. The information obtained showed that in the night, someone tried to avoid the relevant personnel to carry the machine. The next day, the mine returned to silence. The outside of the factory building is still full of mining machines, covered with rain-proof cloth. No party is willing to disclose any video information, and the thrilling behind it will be sealed by time.
(The miner outside the machine room is covered by rain cloth. Photo/Oukelian News)
Unable to take away their own assets in an open manner, some customers filed an objection application to the court for property preservation, requesting the return of the customer’s blocked mining machine. Blue Whale Finance contacted a miner and said that he had already taken back the mining machine and withdrew the objection application. A large number of customer mining machines that were originally detained were subsequently returned to their original owners.
In contrast, within three days after the shutdown, the Dehuixin mine next door to Xingu Yunchuang had moved all the mining machines.
Returning to the 2019 Zhundong Investment Promotion Conference, the park also signed the Chip Valley Cloud Computing Data Center project with an investment of 6 billion yuan and the Dehuixin Cloud Computing Data Center project with an investment of 5 billion yuan. The two mines that sit next to each other have an investment plan of over 10 billion yuan.
The actual amount of investment spent is less than planned. In 2020, Xingu Yunchuang disclosed a total investment of 800 million yuan in the mine, and jointly invested in the construction of a factory building with a state-owned enterprise. The 220KV Xingu substation will be contracted by Shanghai Electric, and the power load will be 600,000 kilowatts. Today, Core Valley Yunchuang has 21 large computer rooms. Through equity pledge, Shanghai Electric Power Transmission and Distribution Group Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Shanghai Electric, as the pledgee, holds 11 million yuan of equity in Chip Valley Yunchuang.
Chip Valley Yunchuang was established in 2017. Dehui Xinchangji Company was established in August 2018. At the time when Zhundong Mine was rising, there were Hong Kong companies and shareholders involved in mining machinery and other businesses. According to the introduction, Dehuixin mine has Guodian resources, which can accommodate hundreds of thousands of mining machines. In 2020, it will have a load of 600,000 kilowatt-hours. It can be seen at the scene that it has 24 return-shaped workshops for easy heat dissipation, and built-in substations to connect to the grid. No worries about arrears, the Dehuixin mine was quickly emptied.
(Pin font factory building is convenient for heat dissipation. Photo/Oukelian News)
Another company caught in the quagmire of power supply disputes is Yunhe Data in the Jiji Lake Industrial Park.
With cloud and data customers, everything is calm. It was learned from its customers that miners can normally pull the machines away after stopping operations, and most of the mining machines have been pulled away in June. The platform is highly respected by customers, and colleagues speak up in a timely manner. A person who claims to be acquainted with cloud and data executives said the executives are fine. The amount of the execution target is nearly 100 million, and the cloud and data will respond, the electricity tariff dispute can be resolved, and the transformation will be a long-term plan.
Yunhe Data is recognized as the largest mine in Zhundong, and it is difficult to ignore.
It settled in October 2018 and covers an area of more than 300 acres. After all is completed, 65 data rooms can be built, with a total disposable power of more than 1.2 million kilowatt-hours, which is not related to the company of the same name headquartered in Zhengzhou. People familiar with the matter said that the computer room continues to be under construction, with a load of at least 700,000 kilowatt-hours. There is no power plant in Jiji Lake. Yunhe Data relies on the 750kV backbone grid to transmit electricity from the 750kV Jihu Substation.
According to local media reports, cloud and data have the conditions for direct power supply transactions, which can reduce electricity costs. In the first half of 2020, the power consumption of cloud and data exceeded 2 billion kWh, and the number of increase in the second half of the year is unknown. The power consumption of this mine for half a year is enough for the world’s largest mine in E City for 7 years.
In the Xiheishan Industrial Park north of Jijihu New City, companies affiliated with well-known energy companies have also intervened in this gold nugget tide.
Ling Hao learned that GCL has won the opportunity to open a big data center with two huge polysilicon production lines. The related argument is to be tested. The GCL mentioned here is a member of the branch of the private photovoltaic giant GCL Group.
GCL Big Data Industrial Park found this park. At the beginning of 2019, local authorities visited the GCL Cloud Computing Industrial Park. An electricity bill dispute in June revealed that mining machines were used in this big data center.
On June 12, three days after the Zhundong Mine was required to have a power outage, the State Grid Xinjiang Zhundong Power Supply Company requested an application to freeze the 11 million yuan of Xinjiang GCL Industrial Park Investment and Development Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “GCL Industrial Park”). The case for bank deposits and property preservation is a dispute over a power supply contract. It was learned from relevant persons familiar with the case that the plaintiff in this case has resolved the dispute and there is no problem of arrears. According to its response, the electricity bill is related to the electricity consumption cost of cryptocurrency mining.
Xinjiang GCL Industrial Park is a holding company of GCL Wisdom, a subsidiary of GCL Energy Branch (002015.SZ). The listed company has recently fallen into a storm of capital occupation by its actual controller. People in the new energy industry commented to Blue Whale Finance that the peak of GCL Group was in 2018. It was defeated by monocrystalline silicon due to the battle for polycrystalline silicon technology.
GCL-Poly GCL (3800.HK) announced the Xinjiang project in 2017, and later signed a 2.5 billion syndicated loan for this. Relying on industrial production lines to build a big data center should be a joke. Polysilicon itself is a high-power-consuming industry. In 2018, GCL Zhundong New Material Industrial Park applied for a 220KV substation for the polysilicon project. Since then, this substation has also become the source of life for the mine. Two relevant persons talked about the fact that the mines under its substation are transmitting electricity through the GCL substation.
Since it was built near Xiexin Road in GCL Industrial Park, the site is called “GCL Big Data”, and the mine also involves other investors. Relevant parties of GCL responded that the big data center is currently suspended and there are other shareholders in partnership. They are not worried about the return on investment. In addition to the previous business, 3D rendering or other businesses will be considered.
Back to the waist of the “arrow”, not far from the Eastern Hope Industrial Park in Cainan Industrial Park is the Ethereum mine planned to be acquired by China Concept Stock Future Technology Financial Technology (FTFT), and it is also the custody mine of the well-known mint mining industry in the industry. .
This plant is shown as an open space on the online map. Because it is not far from the Oriental Hope Industrial Park, some miner customers call it “Oriental Hope”, and there is also a 3D rendering room in operation. In April, China Future Financial Technology (FTFT) announced that it plans to acquire a 51% stake in the Ethereum mine under Mingtang Network for 45.9 million yuan, which is involved in this plant. The merger and acquisition case set conditions for gambling. The announcement showed that the seller promised that the pre-interest and tax profit in 2021 would need to be more than 40 million yuan, otherwise the seller would have to use cash to make up the profit difference.
According to the response of the relevant personnel of the company, the comprehensive contract conditions and the merger and acquisition with the future financial technology have not been completed, and the factory has been transformed. At present, it has found a way out and no longer does the cryptocurrency mining machine custody business. As a GPU room, it supports 3D rendering and other services.
(There is a 3D rendering room in the venue. Photo/Oukelian News)
According to the 3D rendering computer room staff, some of the mining machines hosted by customers in the computer room have been pulled to Kazakhstan. Zhang Li (pseudonym), an employee dispatched to the mine, said that some mining machines had long been placed in nearby warehouses in Qitai County, and a small number of mines could not find a place to stay in the park. There are not many days to go, and Zhang Li plans to leave at the end of June. From Sichuan to Xinjiang, it has experienced several springs and autumns in the encryption mining industry, and its future is uncertain. Zhang Li said that he will bid farewell to this industry.
The mine that has been in operation has experienced the decline after the power outage, and the Maoshi Data Industrial Park, also located in Cainan, has never been born.
Maoshi Data Industrial Park is a few kilometers diagonally away from the UHV converter station. Outside the plant is a fence with metal coils. The ground is covered with sand and dust, and the inner and outer edges of the fence are full of debris.
The shelf components that have not been opened, squashed cardboard boxes, dusty foam, torn canvas bags, and empty plastic buckets are all discarded, as well as the packaging box with the “Mercury Network” router printed on it. There is no vitality of organic matter in the sun. Looking in from the open door of the factory building, the plastic film on the door hadn’t been torn, and there was nothing on the orange shelf near the door.
(Photo by Chaos outside the factory building/Oukelian News)
According to the nearby construction personnel, the Maoshi Data Industrial Park had been suspended in March, and many people said that the construction was stopped. March is the time for Inner Mongolia to clearly clean up virtual currency mining companies in order to ensure the completion of the carbon neutral energy consumption target. It is still a few days away from the suspension of virtual currency mining in Xinjiang.
The data subject of Maoshi was established in September 2019. According to previous knowledge, the controlling shareholder is a family member of the actual controller of a third-tier exchange, and it seems that related parties of this exchange have also coveted mining.
On January 23, 5 impact tests of the main transformer of the Maoshi Substation were completed, announcing the successful power transmission of the project. The original load-bearing capacity was 410,000 kWh, but the plan to install 100,000 servers has now come to nothing. People close to Maoshi Data said that the suspension in March was due to policies related to virtual currencies.
The last picture book of the “Seven Majors” is the only project of Chengyin Technology in Caibei Industrial Park. According to Maoshi data, it is more than ten kilometers north.
Chengyin Technology covers an area of 380 acres and will be completed and connected to the grid at the end of December 2018. From the early stage of the 100,000 load, the scale was gradually expanded, and the later publicity was 600,000 kWh. The customer learned that it has at least 400,000 load, and there are currently more than 30 big data server rooms. A person close to Chengyin Technology said that the company has multiple partnerships, and the partners are originally in the circle of the energy industry. A head mining farmer said frankly that energy companies will be behind many encrypted mining farms.
All the mining machines in the factory have not been removed yet, the back door is locked tightly, and empty mining machine shells are stacked outside the door. When part of the hashrate board in the mining machine is damaged, it will be dismantled and reorganized, and the extra shell will be thrown away.
During the shutdown days, a fully loaded truck drove past the gate of the mine, and the raised dust and computing power dispersed with the wind.
(Photo by Abandoned Mine Shells Outside the Factory / Oukelian News)
After the mine is closed, the customer’s mining machine needs to arrange the logistics to take it away by itself. Tan Xi said, there is a saying in the circle, when the mining machine rang, the gold would be thousands of dollars. By then, a large number of mining machines have died down, and only the empty factory buildings are left for the Gobi.
Most of the machine rooms of the mine are invested and built by enterprises, and the sunk investment costs must be borne by themselves. Old mine owners like Ling Hao will leave the computer room idle, while waiting for the miracle that the situation has been reversed, while starting to build factories overseas. There are also investors who regard what has happened as a wound and cannot bear to open it. An investor in a medium-sized mine was worried about how to transform the computer room after it was closed for less than a year. The latecomers are the ones who have suffered the most losses. Everything is still in the investment stage, and the income is meager, but they are burdened with a heavy investment burden.
For the cooperative park, some people from Zhundong Development Zone said that they would attract investment again. Some people in the park also mentioned that there are no big data companies in the development zone.
In the ups and downs, a huge amount of capital has been buried behind these mines growing on the Gobi.
Generate power for computing power
Electricity is the blood of the mining machine, and the power plant is the heart of the computer room.
Chengyin Technology in “Donkey Kong” is “coexisted in the same room” with the power plant, placed within the same wall, creating a thermal power mine close to the heart.
Established at the end of the twentieth century, this Fujian Electric Power Group has established energy companies in Bayannaoer, Shanxi, Guizhou and other places in Inner Mongolia. In October 2007, its Xinjiang Energy Company was registered in Zhundong. Its Wucaiwan Power Plant (2×660MW) was a star project and was later built as one of the main power sources of Xinjiang Power Grid.
In May 2019, the 110KV power transmission and transformation project of the cloud computing center named after the power plant was approved. At that time, the big data project infrastructure was not prepared in the name of Chengyin Technology, and was called the Henglian Cloud Computing Center during the survey interview. In January 2018, Xinjiang Henglian Cloud Computing Big Data Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Henglian Cloud Computing”) was established. As an enterprise with the blood of Henglian Power Plant, it was cancelled at a later stage without operation. According to people familiar with the matter, the parties did not agree. Chengyin Technology has replaced it by building and developing on power plant land, and the “mine” has also been renamed Chengyin Technology from Henglian Big Data. A former Henglian cloud computing person was kept secret when asked about the mine, saying that he didn’t know it at all.
(Photographed by densely distributed high-voltage lines in the power plant/Oukelian News)
In April 2020, Chengyin Technology’s 220KV substation successfully delivered power. Before the completion of the substation line, Chengyin Technology submitted an application for power supply installation. The local State Grid power supply company used a temporary power supply plan to transmit power for nearly one year from June 2019. As a project park, the use of State Grid is a must for compliance. Even if you are next to a power plant, you have to pull the wire across the state grid to use electricity.
Electricity is the core topic of mines. Most mines are built near power plants or substations. This is the place with the most abundant power resources, and the transmission lines are short and the loss is small. In the construction cost of the mine, the substation needs at least ten million yuan of funds. Ling Hao once mentioned that some major mining customers will provide transformers to settle their electricity bills to reduce the initial cost of mine construction. Another overseas power plant engineering party mentioned that it would build the power plant infrastructure first, and then build the mine after receiving the electricity load.
The main responsibility of the mining farm is to provide equipment and electricity. It can be completely ignorant of cryptocurrency and mining machines. As long as there are stable and continuous electricity resources and low prices, there will naturally be more customers. The mine is used as an intermediary for the sale of electricity, and the electricity fee is actually borne by the customer. Some miners revealed that the electricity fee is generally prepaid for half a month, and the electricity fee will be refunded at the time of settlement if it is not used up.
People in the development zone learned that local companies with annual electricity consumption of more than 100 million kilowatt-hours can enjoy a transmission and distribution price of 7 cents per kilowatt-hour, and the average electricity bill for big data companies is about 0.25 to 0.26 yuan per kilowatt-hour. An executive of a mine site once introduced that if the annual electricity purchased in advance is insufficient, the monthly electricity price for additional purchases is based on the “catalog electricity price”, which is higher than 0.4 yuan per kilowatt-hour. The figure given by the customers of the mine is that they can get a unit price of more than 30 cents per kilowatt-hour. After the mining industry was shut down in Inner Mongolia, Zhundong resources were in short supply, and the electricity price to customers had reached about 40 cents per kilowatt-hour.
At the end of 2016, Zhundong was clearly proposed to become a low-price energy demonstration zone. The transmission and distribution price of 7 cents to large-scale power users is the package price of taxes and fees such as the State Grid’s network fees. The special electricity price policy is also an element of the gathering of mines here.
State Grid Zhundong Power Supply Company has issued a document saying that it will adopt flexible payment measures for large electricity users such as Yunhe, GCL, Dehuixin and Chengyin in 2020, allowing them to pay the electricity bills for the current month in installments, transfer accounts and guarantee loans. Pay. After the power outage on June 9, the local power supply company issued an application to the court for property preservation including Chengyin, Yunhe, Xingu and GCL Industrial Park. The electricity bills ranged from tens of millions to hundreds of millions. Withdraw the lawsuit and cancel the property preservation application of GCL Industrial Park. De Huixin, who moved home in three days, had already gone.
Behind the phenomenon of the influx of encrypted mining, it is coal resources that have created this hot land of computing power. The district name of Wucai Bay is derived from the ochre red, yellow, white and black green “Yadan landform” of the sintered rock that has been accumulated after billions of years of burning of deposited coal seams.
In October 2012, Zhundong was officially approved as a national-level economic and technological development zone. There are five monolithic coal fields in an area of tens of thousands of square kilometers, and it is one of the two super thick coals in Xinjiang with resources exceeding 300 billion tons. The predicted coal reserves here reach 390 billion tons, accounting for 17.8% of Xinjiang and 7% of the country. An organization hosting mining machines in Zhundong stated that surface coal is mainly used for power generation.
Electricity-consuming companies have learned that if all electricity in the country is cut off, the coal resources in the area can provide electricity for more than a hundred years.
(Distillation tower in the sunset photo/Oukelian News)
Having dealt with power plants for many years, Ling Hao believes that the development of the Zhundong Mine is also due to the fact that the power plants have enough installed capacity to produce surplus electricity. The surplus electricity cannot be connected to the grid because the on-grid electricity is saturated. He concluded that otherwise the power plant will not sell the electricity to the cryptocurrency mine, and when the mine goes out of business, the demand for surplus electricity shrinks, and the thermal power plant can be shut down and standby after generating electricity online .
For the future transformation of mining farms, cloud computing companies have requirements for communication infrastructure, and the power consumption of 3D rendering companies is lower than that of Bitcoin mining. Faced with the huge capacity transformers left by the large mines, Zhang Li, who has been stationed in the mines for a long time, shook his head, “Who will come, what factories use so much electricity”. At present, there are still mine owners who remain on the sidelines of development.
In June, miners and mine personnel have left Zhundong one after another. This was once a land they avoided. When winter comes, the lowest temperature in Zhundong can reach minus 40 degrees. Tan Xi mentioned that when the machine was frozen and unable to operate, he held the heater and blown it at the machine, and his hands were numb within a few minutes.
In the early summer, before the rainy season came, in order to move the mining machine south to the low electricity price hydropower mine, he also went with the car from Xinjiang to the south of Sichuan for 4 days and 3 nights, and also saw the great rivers and mountains of the motherland. The seasonal migration of Bitcoin mining machines is the norm. In 2021, the announcement of the closure of the mine accelerated the pace. Within two months, Batu, a “miner” from Inner Mongolia, crossed the grassland, crossed the Gobi Desert in Xinjiang, and entered the Western Sichuan Plateau with a mining machine.
Western Sichuan: The Flower of Computing Power under the High Mountains
On the way from Xinjiang to western Sichuan, the Animaqing Snow Mountain was wrapped in deep clouds. The glacier at the southern foot of this Tibetan sacred mountain turns into living water and flows into the Ganzi and Aba autonomous prefectures at the junction of Qingchuan and Sichuan, forming the Dadu River Basin, protecting the Tibetan and Qiang people on the Western Sichuan Plateau.
Sichuan is known as the “province of a thousand rivers”, with rivers crisscrossing. Aba Prefecture is the birthplace of Minjiang River, Jialing River and Fujiang River. As the source of the west branch of the Minjiang River, the Dadu River and the upper reaches of the Minjiang River without the Dujiangyan, grow a prosperous water system in Aba Prefecture. According to local statistics, there are more than 530 large and small rivers in the state. In addition to Danba and Kangding counties on the western edge of Ganzi Prefecture, the Jiarong Tibetans live near the mountains in this water area and have been passed down from generation to generation.
The Jiarong Tibetans under the lush forests of the snow-capped mountains, the Minzhai Diaolou are colorful and magnificent, the costumes and embroidery are complicated and handsome, and there are many bright and hearty people. The photo of a Tibetan woman holding the power supply of the mining machine taken by the photographer Ding Gang of Caixin Weekly has also become a page in the history of cryptocurrency mining.
There is also the power of raging waves here, and the mountainous terrain has created developed hydropower resources. On the mainstream and tributaries, there are countless large and small power stations. As of 2020, Aba Prefecture has built hydropower installed capacity of approximately 5.8 million kilowatts, and hydropower installed capacity under construction is 5.26 million kilowatts, accounting for 79.5% of the developable capacity. With the power station as the axis, the mines are scattered irregularly in the ancient mountains and forests, which are meteors that seem to have fallen from the outside world.
(Photo by the water outlet of the hydropower station with vast smoke waves / Oukelian News)
Qin Lan (pseudonym), the earliest mining machine producer and industry veteran, recalled that in early 2014, through friends, he built the region’s first cryptocurrency mine in a factory with its own hydropower station in Aba Prefecture. , Is one of the earliest trust mines in Sichuan. At that time, the number of mining farms across the country increased, and the leading mining machine factories and exchanges had hosted mining machines here, and many peers came to investigate.
In Qin Lan’s memory, until the end of the year, there were only three mines nearby, and they started to gather gradually in the second year. During the same period, mines in Kangding County of Ganzi Prefecture and Mabian County of Leshan City were also emerging.
At the beginning of 2015, after the mines in Inner Mongolia were “robbed”, “Bao Erye” came to Sichuan to inspect the hydropower station, saying that the water in the wet season was white silver, and it could not be lost in vain if it turned into Bitcoin. He was once again regarded as a pioneer, and what he said became a golden rule. Since this year, mining companies have successively set up companies in Sichuan, and Bitmain’s subsidiary companies have been registered in a power plant in Li County, Aba Prefecture.
Qin Lan described the trajectory of the birth of a hydropower mining farm. When the Bitcoin market was booming in 2013, the machine could not afford to use 1 yuan per kilowatt-hour of electricity in Shenzhen. At that time, various mining machines were put into production for less than a year, and the competition for computing power was far less intense than it is now. Later, when the market was sluggish, everyone thought about reducing electricity prices and lowering costs. Not long after coming to Sichuan to find a company to store mining machines, Qin Lan discovered the source of low electricity prices, which are countless hydropower stations here. There is no precedent for reference, Qin Lan found direct power supply resources after introducing, and tested the water power mine.
Over the next few years, as the summer season grew stronger, the glaciers thaw and the water flowed turbulently. Sichuan’s hydropower output is inversely proportional to the electricity price. Bitcoin mining machines that are sensitive to electricity prices move south, and the computing power of local mines has begun to compete with Xinjiang. Also from the Cambridge New Economic Research Center data, from June to October 2020, Sichuan’s total computing power surpassed Xinjiang. The date coincides with the wet season, which usually occurs from May 25 to October 25, with a one-month normal period before and after, and the dry season outside the interval. This half-year period has arrived at the home field of the hydropower mine.
In the development process of the Sichuan mine, the main force in the early stage was the isolated grid of small hydropower; in the mid-term, the more stable state grid power was selected to ensure the longevity of the machine and it would not stop “selling”; with the year-by-year development, after 2019, Large-scale enterprises seek compliance and choose to spend higher costs to build standard mines for data computer rooms in approved hydropower consumption parks.
The “past tense” of small hydropower mines
Passing through the gap between two mountain tunnels, driving a distance of less than three to five seconds, there is a mine caught in the mountain col. If you don’t pay attention, you will only see the afterimages of the mountains and rocks outside the car window, and you will enter the next deep tunnel.
There are high mountains on both sides, and the gurgling water flows into the Dadu River in the valleys. In the mountain pass tens of meters wide, this mine has been “in the cracks” for four years.
(Photo by a mine in the valley along the Dadu River/Oukelian News)
With a load of more than 20,000 kilowatt-hours, it is only a canoe compared to Zhundong’s giant ship.
Zhao Cong (pseudonym) has been engaged in mining operations for many years. He usually rotates around the company’s different computer rooms to perform machine maintenance, and he relies on games for entertainment when he has nothing to do. When winter is approaching, he is responsible for pulling the machine to Xinjiang and returning with the car in March of the coming year to welcome the rainy season. This is also the norm in Sichuan mines.
In winter, the tops of the mountains are frozen, the ditches are frozen, and the ice hanging upside down on the rock walls is pierced through. The flow of the Dadu River slowed down, and the water became turquoise and clear.
When the dry season arrives, the machine room that uses the electricity from the State Grid throughout the year can be kept on hold. Mines that choose the low and low electricity prices will leave due to price increases, and the isolated grid small hydropower stations will have no surplus electricity supply. The mine will be evacuated and the valley will return to silence. Those who stayed take care of plant equipment and sporadic mining machines. Most of the mining machines will not spend the winter here. Some went to the mines managed by the company in Xinjiang, and some were moved by the customers themselves. Until the spring of the following year, return to the era of awakening from the stream.
June 25 is the deadline for Sichuan to shut down its mines. When the only major customer shut down, this small hydropower station was basically shut down.
This power plant usually supplies electricity to the mine, and the surplus power is sold to nearby villages. At present, there are still a small number of units in the hydropower station that have started up, providing electricity for themselves and their customers. The water inlet of the power plant is rustling and letting it flow.
The power plant was built by the Dadu River six or seven years ago. At first, it mainly sent electricity to nearby villages, but it has not been integrated into the state grid. There are countless hydropower stations in Sichuan. The voltage exceeds the upper limit during the wet season. Power plant personnel Liu Cong (a pseudonym) heard that it is difficult to integrate into the state grid and “people don’t want it.” There are more than ten employees in the factory, and Liu Cong is quite worried about the power plant’s failure to sell electricity.
(Photo by Small Hydropower Drainage Channel / Oukelian News)
Production and sales are highly dependent on mine customers, and the future revenue of this small hydropower station is uncertain. The average price of electricity sold to mines is about 0.25 yuan per kilowatt-hour. Based on the upper limit of the load, the power plant can account for up to 4.5 million yuan a month. In addition to the revenue gap, there are also borrowing disputes behind the shareholders. Due to environmental protection and other factors, Sichuan is also continuing to clean up and reform small hydropower stations in the Yangtze River Economic Zone. Power generation below 50,000 loads is classified as small hydropower, and this is one of them. As of the end of the first half of the year, Sichuan had 1,360 small hydropower plants withdrawn.
The relevant personnel of the small hydropower industry information service platform “E-Small Hydropower” introduced to Blue Whale Finance that the grid connection process of hydropower stations is generally completed in the early stage of the power station’s commissioning. Enterprises apply for grid connection, and after the transmission facilities have passed the inspection and acceptance, they will sign the power purchase and sale contract; if it is an isolated grid hydropower station enterprise, after many years of production, it must seek grid connection again, the related procedures are cumbersome, and Sichuan is a large hydropower province, a hydropower station enterprise in the province During the rainy period, the water was abandoned and the electricity was restricted, and it was not easy to connect to the grid.
However, since there are no fixed power users in the surrounding area, if it cannot be connected to the grid, the prospect of transfer is slim, and it is not economical to sell power generation equipment and facilities. “E Small Hydropower” believes that the construction cost of a power station with a load of 25,000 kilowatts is not low, and the feasibility of striving for grid connection can be considered based on the actual local conditions.
The small hydropower station that Qin Lan docked back then was not integrated into the State Grid. It mainly supplied electricity to its own factory, and provided this new customer with a load of 50 million kilowatt-hours at a price of about 0.33 yuan per kilowatt-hour. Under the conditions of the entire network at that time, the mine was able to mine thousands of bitcoins a month. According to his understanding, in the early years, some old isolated hydropower stations finally welcomed customers and escaped the fate of being abandoned. The electricity price can be as low as 0.12 yuan to 0.15 yuan per kilowatt-hour, but the load is small and there is no power supply during the dry season. .
Some isolated small hydropower grids are used to transmit electricity to remote villages. Some used to be factory-owned power stations, but the factories have been closed for many years. As part of the mining ecology, shutting down mines will also affect the survival of some isolated power stations.
The head of a power plant with a small mining farm admitted that the closure of the mine will affect revenue. Grid-connected small hydropower is also not rare. These grid-connected power plants are confident. The power station of one of the “big five” power groups and related personnel of another private hydropower company said that the main external customers are cryptocurrency mines, but they can still sell electricity to the State Grid, with little impact.
For the “prodigal son” who wants to sell electricity to the State Grid, “E Small Hydro” reminds that if hydropower companies that have connected to the grid sell electricity privately, there is a compliance risk. Generally, power generation companies do not have the qualifications to sell electricity, so they need to first sell all the power to the grid company, and then the grid company can sell it to users. Some people familiar with the matter analyzed the advantages and disadvantages. If the electricity price sold by the power grid to the factory was originally 1 yuan/kWh, the power plant directly sold to the mine 0.25-0.3 yuan/kWh, which was higher than the price sold to the power grid, and the power plant made the difference. The power grid is damaged.
State Grid Sichuan did not respond to specific issues, saying only that “water and electricity are managed by the five major power groups.” The five major power groups are Huaneng Group, Datang Group, Huadian Group, Guodian Group, and Power Investment Group. There is no shortage of power plants under the “Big Five” in the Dadu River and Minjiang River Basins. Some stations have mines built in them and have been fined for privately selling electricity to them.
In November 2019, the Sichuan Regulatory Office of the National Energy Administration issued an administrative penalty decision. The Wenchuan Gucheng Power Plant, a subsidiary of Huadian Zagunao Hydropower, was fined 600,000 yuan for “pull dedicated line” power supply and illegally sold 100 million kWh of electricity. The sales target is an electricity sales company, behind which is a well-known mining group in the circle. Judging from this case, the grid-connected power station is not connected to the grid, and it is not allowed to pull the dedicated line to sell the surplus and consume electricity by itself.
(Photo by a hydropower station under one of the five major power plants / Oukelian News)
With the intervention of supervision and the demand for stability and standardization, some mines signed a contract with State Grid in the later period.
The entanglement between power supply companies and mines has not stopped. In Aba Prefecture, a mine that uses State Grid electricity is facing a lawsuit. State Grid employees came to negotiate and asked to enter the mine to take photos of transformers and other equipment for the court to preserve before the lawsuit.
Lin Bao, an official close to the mine, revealed that the annual electricity used by this mine is calculated and charged at the average price of the two seasons of dry and rich seasons. Due to the closure of the mine, electricity was used almost only during the dry season during the contract period. The low hydropower is used for more than 0.3 yuan per kilowatt, which makes the mine cheaper and also triggers the current disputes. It is reported that the local electricity price during the dry season is about 0.45 yuan per kWh. At present, the state Grid Sichuan Minjiang Power Supply Company and a local technology company have filed a lawsuit on a power supply contract not long ago, and the latter is listed on the “suspected” mining list previously released by Sichuan.
In order to prevent the mine from transporting out the equipment that was to be applied for preservation, a large diesel generator truck was horizontally at the gate of the mine. Facing the staff of State Grid, Lin Bao said, “Don’t worry about taking away anything in the venue, and take away food to other places, so as not to misunderstand that you are moving things.” It is understood that the mine construction party obtains the power resources through a third party, and there is a dispute between the third-party company and the power supply company in the settlement of electricity charges, the mine is implicated, and the customer’s mining machine is coordinated and shipped out at a later stage.
The sudden change was troublesome. After the shutdown of the Sichuan mine, the situation was not calm, but it was also a flurry of beatings.
Due to topographical restrictions, the scale of hydropower mines is generally smaller than that of thermal power mines, but they are numerous and scattered. In addition to the “wild mines” and Caigangfang mines modified from abandoned containers next to small hydropower stations, there are also standardized IDC computer rooms in the Xiaoshui Park, which constitute the spectrum of the Sichuan mines. Some mines have a load of only 200 kilowatt-hours, which means they consume 200 kWh of electricity per hour. Under the reminder of relevant departments, they have been shut down before June 25. Zhao Cong said that after reporting, he must be closed, and those who are on the mountain road more than ten miles can’t escape.
At the end of June, in the factory building in the cracks, the mining machines had been pulled away, a large number of switches were still being loaded, and the equipment was first dismantled and put in the warehouse. The mine where Zhao Cong works has been in operation for many years. The company has already paid back its capital for the head mining machine trustee. “As long as the customer settles the electricity bill, the machine is left to its disposal.” Everything happened beyond his expectations, and Zhao Cong believed that there was no hope of opening.
Until recently, the relevant personnel of the mine where Lin Bao worked said that the mine would face inspections from time to time. The local water conservancy department is also “looking back” on the special cleanup and rectification actions of small hydropower stations, and the rectification is still ongoing. Existing mines are planned to be demolished, and the area is planned to be built for gas filling stations.
Every mine operation and maintenance has heard that there are still mines in operation deep in the mountains, but in the dense forest, the roads are dangerous and have not been witnessed.
Silent Elimination Garden
“Forerunner” Qin Lan completely put down the mining business in 2017. Investigating the reason, he responded that there are no technical barriers to this industry, basically capital barriers. Qin Lan should have no shortage of capital, but the development logic of the mine still stopped him.
In the document that Sichuan announced the closure of the mine, among the 26 “suspected” virtual currency mining projects reported by the power company, all companies were approved to use the hydropower park. Most of the hydropower is generated and used immediately, and the surplus power is dispatched by the power plant to the areas in need to solve the problem of abandoning water and electricity during the high water period. Digestion and disposal of electricity in the rainy season is the original intention of the Xiaona Park Demonstration Zone. As a demonstration enterprise in the hydropower consumption industry, many leading mining companies have more than one place in it. It is reported that the machine room of Xiaona Park has requirements for specifications, and the construction cost of the plant is twice that of an ordinary mine. In addition to the list, some also have other mines in Sichuan.
After eight years, with the surge in cryptocurrency, there are not only stragglers in the mines, but also the emergence of more group capital entities.
Not far from the scenic Siguniang Mountain, Xiaojin County has a large-scale mining farm, and all the computer rooms have been shut down.
(The dissipating electric mine with the fan stopped)
This is one of the “suspicious” list. It will be put into operation in January 2020, and it will reach the standard in November. It has become a local company (main income of more than 20 million yuan), and its shareholders have well-known capital. The factory building is next to a substation, and the sign at the door indicates that it is a strategic cooperation park. As of press time, the mine has no intention to respond to whether the substation is specifically built for the mine. The factory is on one side of the national highway, and on the other side of the road is the river, which is rarely seen. The machine room has all been shut down, the mining machines have not been moved away, the rows of fans are not rotating, and time and space are silent as static.
More than three months ago, local residents also complained about the noise caused by the Bitcoin plant causing serious harm and affecting sleep. Relevant departments responded on the official website and found that the noise did exceed the standard after inspection. According to people from the surrounding area, there was a complaint against a mine near the residential area in Maerkang County, and it was finally blocked by a muffler baffle. The noise in the mine can reach 90 decibels, and the sound insulation screen of the mine has also become a product of the encryption industry.
The once roar has completely subsided, and the factory seems to have never been opened. The surrounding area was filled with foam packing the mining machines, just like the mining machines in the machine room, they just stood silently.
(Photo by piles of foam boxes for miners/Oukelian News)
As Inner Mongolia stopped Bitcoin mining at the end of the first quarter, many of the mines in the Sao Park in Sichuan were enthusiastic in attracting investment before the wet season, and electricity prices also increased. Customers of the Xiaonayuan Mine revealed that they contacted the Sichuan Mine after the shutdown in Xinjiang. The electricity price for miners during the high water period was around 0.35 yuan, compared to more than two cents in previous years. Nonetheless, the mining farm in the Yuzuo Park has been actively put into production before the high water period.
Different from the direct power supply of small hydropower, the state grid will not be affected by the amount of water. In addition to low prices, stable power supply is a mine condition that miners are eager for. Power failure means that there is no output during the period, and voltage instability will also affect the life of the miner. In addition to the stable power supply, the Xiaonayuan Mine’s land use and other procedures are complete, and there is no risk of using construction land due to illegal construction. It is also called a record mine.
There are six pilot consumption demonstration zones in Sichuan, and Aba Prefecture was included in August 2019. This mine in Xiaojin County is a so-called distributed consumption park, a single-family house. In Waze Township, Kangding County, Ganzi Prefecture, there is a hydropower consumption industry demonstration park with a planned area of 3,000 mu.
It was learned from the people of the Mining Park mining company that to become a Mining Park company must have approval documents such as filing, energy assessment, safety assessment, and environmental assessment, plus the infrastructure costs for the standard computer room configuration, which cost a lot of investment. Local authorities have disclosed that in the above-mentioned concentrated demonstration area, the first phase of a Xinduqiao cloud computing center was put into operation in August 2020, with an electricity load of 15,000 kWh and an investment of 8.6 million yuan.
Preliminary preparations for absorbing mines need to spend over one million in multiple approval procedures; the design fee for grid access system is also an investment of up to one million; in addition, the construction cost of the standard computer room has doubled in the tens of millions. Plants that have been put into production soon or have not yet been completed have become silent costs. The Xiaonayuan mine has become the Shura field of capital.
Ganzi Prefecture’s electricity price support for the consumption park includes controlling the annual average price below 0.22 yuan per kilowatt-hour, the single-system transmission and distribution price for big data and other industries at 0.105 yuan per kilowatt-hour, and the market-based waste water power implements a single transmission and distribution price of 0.04 yuan per kilowatt-hour. , Plus the rest of the expenses, the cost electricity price received by the mining enterprises in the mining park is 0.15 yuan per kilowatt-hour. The early-stage investment in the consumption park mine is large, and the electricity price is supported, and the electricity price to the trustee customers fluctuates according to market conditions. According to the introduction of a mining company, the profit margin of the electricity sales cost of the mine is about 40%. In addition to the profit from the electricity tariff difference, self-operated mining is also one of the sources of revenue. Earning legal currency with one hand and virtual “coin” is the business experience of many mines and the reason why participants are eager for it.
It is reported that usually nearly half of the revenue from electricity bills goes to power generation companies, and the rest is allocated to the national grid and local taxes. A person from a mining company mentioned that Aba and Ganzi are at the bottom of the province’s GDP rankings. The underdeveloped economy is also a factor in the local active introduction of new industries, and the local area has paid more attention.
The development of Xiaonayuan Mine Field stopped after a year and a half, and there were many twists and turns during the period. From May 13th to 25th, the hashrate of Bitcoin’s entire network has been reduced. Affected by the power supply situation, on May 14, the State Grid Sichuan Aba Prefecture Electric Power Company issued a power outage notice. It plans to implement temporary all-day power rationing on all big data users in the hydropower consumption demonstration area from May 16th. . On May 25, the rainy season kicked off, and some mines began to restore electricity.
On June 2, the Sichuan Regulatory Office of the National Energy Administration held a symposium on the investigation of virtual currency “mining”, which aroused the attention of the whole industry. The retention of hydropower mines in one fell swoop. Participants stated that only information was collected at the time.
The mines in Sichuan province will be shut down on June 25, and the mines in the Xiaona Park on the list will be cleared and shut down before June 20. After receiving the notice, some were required to have power outages on the 19th, and the Xiaonayuan Mine was the first batch to be shut down.
Compared with the “coin circle”, the mining industry is a relatively closed circle. Zhang Jiacheng (pseudonym), who has worked in these two industries, summarizes that the mine owners are very low-key, and the super miners don’t know who the industry overlord is. The cost of mining machines and mines is expensive, and it costs hundreds of millions of dollars to blame. In addition to mining machine manufacturers, there are also traditional capital such as veteran financial technology companies, energy sales companies, and catering real estate.
At the same time, large consumer parks usually have several owners, not one party bears the cost. According to a participant, most mining farms continue to buy new machines, increase computing power, and prefer long-term currency holdings, and it is difficult for the cash flow to be healthy. Some consuming mines revealed that they have not yet earned back their investment.
In a hydropower consumption park in Aba Prefecture, the scenery is beautiful. Some customers are moving mining machines out of the country. It is Batu, a “miner” from Inner Mongolia.
(Photo by the mine under the green mountain and the woman responsible for the transport/Oukelian News)
Batu has thousands of mining machines purchased at a cost of hundreds of millions, all of which are Ant S19 and Shenma’s latest machines, and most of them are helping large households to manage them in a unified manner. He heard that relevant departments would come to conduct a thorough investigation, and worried that the machine would not be able to remove it if the seal was attached.
After the Xinjiang mine was shut down, Batu pulled the mining machine to Sichuan and turned it on after unloading the cargo. After only “running” for three days, the power went out on the 19th. Batu believed that no one dared to buy the mining machine at the time, and he was not willing to sell it. Before deciding on the way out to sea, he prepared to put it in the warehouse. He sighed, moving the mining machine from Inner Mongolia to Xinjiang and then to Sichuan, and finally put it in the warehouse.
It is understood that the freight for a truck from Xinjiang to Sichuan is tens of thousands, and then it will cost thousands of fares to Chengdu.
At this time, the Jiarong Tibetan women were carrying the back basket, one by one, putting the mining machine into the back basket, walking slowly to the truck, and then someone moved the mining machine into the back of the truck, and so on. They looked calm and didn’t say much, and they moved with their heavy ant mining machines on their backs. Although it is summer and wearing casual clothes, they are still decorated with ethnic ornaments and designs. The colorful rope is somewhat similar to the multi-stranded wire of the fan of the mining machine.
Qin Lan talked about when he came to Western Sichuan 7 years ago, “everyone didn’t know what Bitcoin was.” Nowadays, the logistics phone for pick-up and drop-off specializing in mining machines is printed on the wall, and it is no longer unfamiliar for the surrounding security staff, chefs and other internal staff to mention Bitcoin.
(Local women lined up to carry mining machines downstairs. Photo/Oukelian News)
(Photo by the miner in the back basket / Oukelian News)
The mine in this distributed consumption park received 20,000 loads of electricity. The client’s mining machine has almost moved, and some have gone overseas. It is reported that the mine will be dismantled, and the transformers and cables may be sold.
Everyone has set off separately. Batu said that the currency price was too low in the first two years, and his profit was limited. He made a profit in the second half of 2017. The main source of money was from last year to the beginning of this year. I have changed my career, but I have to settle the matter first before going home to cultivate for a period of time. Li Shengli (a pseudonym) of mine operation and maintenance said frankly that he went home without other circumstances, and many people in this industry would go back.
At the end of May, Bitmain has taken action, and some departments have collectively gone overseas to find mines and expand the scale. Anton, which has electric power resources in Vietnam and other places, is looking for miner customers and starting construction. Major mine owners with a wide range of resources have foreseen the fate of going to sea, and many Xinjiang mine owners have deployed mines in other parts of Asia. A Sichuan mine shareholder is investigating and negotiating with the US mine to participate in capacity expansion or new construction, and plans to start production this year. The Canadian government has not yet opened its doors due to the epidemic, and the construction costs in the Nordic region are high. It is the consensus of many people to avoid hot spots. They are familiar with the situation of overseas construction, and companies with sufficient resources are constantly looking for a way out.
It is understood that the load of overseas mines was basically robbed in May, and the opportunity to build factories was fleeting. Some are still considering, they heard that latecomers have already paid a deposit. As of the end of August, Bitcoin’s computing power has recovered nearly 50% from the low point set in July this year, and the price of leading mining machines has dropped by more than 70%. Some management personnel predict that the current idle mining machine computing power stock can be digested by 2022.
In the eyes of Tan Xi, who is going north and south, the mines in Aba and Ganzi are not the best. Continuing south, mines are scattered in many places in Sichuan. On the way to “mining” over the mountains and ridges, in his opinion, the most beautiful scenery is in Yunnan. Thousands of kilometers one way, the end of this “road of computing power” is far from being reached.
Extraordinary article: “All beings” in the mine
Mines of various scales are built on the water, and some leap to the top of the mountain and some hidden deep forests, forming a computing power river and lake between the green forest and the mountains and rivers.
Out of Danba County, next to the hydropower station on the corner, the walls and roofs of the office buildings are covered with cooling fans, creating a “mine in the sky” scene. Fans are also added to the windows of the power plant building, and eight machine rooms have been built around, which maximizes the utilization of space.
An online map marked a neatly arranged mine as “10 mines”. In June, the truck drove into “10 Buildings” and people were moving the machines away.
A single power transmission line from the hydropower station is directly connected to the mountainside more than a hundred meters away. The mountain road is transformed into several terraced spaces with three other mine machine rooms.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/field-exploration-of-cryptocurrency-mines-in-ordos-inner-mongolia-zhundong-and-western-sichuan/
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