Cryptocurrency mining firms are now moving to underpopulated, rural areas of Japan drawn by cheap electricity prices and subsidies that help them keep costs down. This makes Japan’s countryside one of the most attractive areas for miners, along with countries like Iceland and Canada.
According to Nikkei Asia Review, cryptocurrency mining firm Alt Design moved to Fukui, a city of around 250,000 people, to take advantage of relatively low electricity and setup costs. The city also has a subsidy program that pays companies who move into unused factory spaces half their rent.
Speaking to the publication, Alt Design’s chief analyst and former banker Shuhei Fujise stated:
Electricity pricing is still somewhat higher here than overseas, but there is demand for an agile company like us, and to actually be able to see the people running the operation.
Currently, Alt Design employs 10 workers, and has about 500 mining rigs producing bitcoin and ethereum. The firm’s hardware manages to produce about 200 Ethereum per month, worth about $94,500 at press time.
The company’s facilities reportedly consume 2,000 kW per month. Notably, the equipment used belongs to clients, and the Tokyo-based firm merely takes a portion of the generated cryptocurrencies as a commission. Nikkei’s reports states the firm has 10 corporate clients, and constantly turns others away.
The conditions Japan’s countryside offers put it in competition with countries like Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, which are attractive thanks to their low temperatures and an abundance of renewable energy sources, which mean cheap operating costs.
Japan’s Crypto Mining Scene
Notably, there are other companies competing with Alt Design in Japan, in anticipation of future growth. E-commerce firm DMM.com has set up the country’s largest mining operation in the central city of Kanazawa. Internet giant GMO launched a mining operation, but moved to Scandinavia.
DMM reportedly unveiled a showroom displaying 1,000 cryptocurrency mining rigs earlier this year, and has revealed it uses ASIC and GPU miners to produce BTC, ETH, and LTC. Its also set to offer cloud mining services.
As CryptoGlobe covered, internet giant GMO has recently launched a new upgraded 7nm Bitcoin Miner called B3, with hash power of 33 TH/s, that consumes 1,950w. GMO is set to use these machines to “top” mining giant Bitmain, which was recently valued at $12 billion in a funding round, and is set to purchase $50 million in Opera web browser’s IPO.