Sichuan Floods Expose Key Risk for Bitcoin Miners

Extreme weather conditions are being blamed for a dip in the global hashrate. Published charts suggested a 30 percent drop in the hashrate and this is being attributed to the recent flooding in China.

According to reports in The FT, the downpour at the end of last month exposed a key risk for the sector. The flooding in Sichuan province left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and destroyed many mining farms. The region is a hub for crypto miners due to its low power costs and a cheap hardware market.

China accounts for nearly 70 percent of the world’s Bitcoin mining activities, with Sichuan being declared ‘Bitcoin mining capital’, Bitcoin’s biggest mining pool, Antpool, is based in China.

Other observers are split on the explanation for the fall in hashrate, attributing the dip to a combination of the flooding, a heatwave in Europe and the lower price of bitcoin. Morgan Stanley analysts estimate that the Sichuan floods could only impact up to 8-10 percent of global bitcoin mining activity.

The debate over the reason for the hashrate decline is likely to rumble on for some time. However, what is certain is that the Chinese dominate the crypto mining industry and the concentration of activity in a region susceptible to frequent flooding, the province was also heavily affected by flooding 2013, there exists a significant ‘key man risk’ for the wider industry.

Bitcoin Hashrate

Despite the hashrate dropping due to the floods the hashrate has bounced back and is recovering, as shown in the chart above.

Blockchain Wallet Integrates BitPay Support for User-Friendly Transactions

  • Blockchain Wallet announces the integration of BitPay into their existing service. 
  • Emphasis on allowing for "user-friendly" transactions and payments. 

Popular cryptocurrency firm Blockchain.com, which operates the Blockchjain wallet, has announced integration of payment processor BitPay

Blockchain Wallet Adds BitPay Support

In an update, Blockchain Wallet confirmed its new partnership with BitPay, which will allow for the direct spending of user bitcoin in an effort to increase the ease of crypto-based payments.

The press release states that BitPay has been “seamlessly” integrated into the existing Blockchain Wallet framework, which clients can use to make payments directly from their application. 

According to the announcement,

As the largest global crypto payments provider, BitPay and has processed more than $2.8 billion from merchants and B2B customers since 2011.

The press release continues, 

We’re excited to see this new addition connect our Wallet users to the world of merchants that accept Bitcoin (and soon other cryptos) as a payment method — one of the key ways to interact with and grow the digital asset ecosystem.

The emphasis on payments shows the direction that Blockchain Wallet imagines for the future of crypto. While the platform has created a secure cryptocurrency wallet for users to retain simultaneous control over their funds and private keys, user-friendly transactions and spending has continued to be a work in progress. 

BitPay has emerged as one of the more successful payment platforms in crypto, with a focus on establishing a relationship with merchants to accept bitcoin. The partnership with Blockchain Wallet, with its reported 41 million userbase, could go a long way in spurring greater use for bitcoin outside of a store of value asset or token for price speculation.