Chinese Miners Forced to Shut Down Their Businesses, As Cryptocurrency Prices Plummet

Omar Faridi
  • Cryptocurrency mining is no longer profitable for operators of small mining farms in China.
  • Local residents reveal they were forced to shut down their mining operations due to the extended crypto bear market.

A Chinese cryptocurrency miner with the surname Li recently revealed that he had invested “hundreds of thousands” of Chinese yuan (CNY) to purchase nearly a hundred mining rigs during the second half of 2017 - when digital currency prices reached their all-time highs.

Li also resigned from his job at a small financial firm and began focusing on his crypto mining business. As many digital asset investors have now admitted, Li had hoped to make some “quick and easy” money by mining Bitcoin (BTC).

Cryptocurrencies Drop 99% From All-Time High

However, the prices of all major cryptocurrencies have dropped drastically - with some popular crypto assets such as Nxt and Qtum losing as much as 99% of their value from the time when the market capitalization of the crypto market exceeded $800 billion (in January 2018).

Because of the huge drop in cryptocurrency prices, Li said:

By mid-June, my mining business’s profit margin had dropped by 90%. One of my friends who also mines altcoins suffered more, nearly losing all his investment.

Chinese Miner

After suffering huge financial losses, Li was forced to shut down his mining farm and he also tried to sell his mining rigs by posting an ad on an e-commerce platform for second-hand electronic hardware items.

However, Li struggled to find buyers for his expensive mining equipment as he claims to have not been able to find a party that has made a reasonable offer - even though it has now been three months since he posted the ad.

Useless Piles Of Scrap Metal

The Chinese resident also said he was only able to sell two mining machines for just 700 yuan (appr. $105). When he tried to sell the mining hardware equipment to other local electronics dealers, they also refused to take them.

At the time when Li had purchased the crypto miners, they were in very high demand and hard to get, however, he now describes them as useless piles of scrap metal that lie covered in thick layers of dust.

Another Chinese miner with the surname Ma revealed that he had to close down his mining farm as well, due to the extended crypto bear market. Ma said he then sold four of his mining rigs for only 850 yuan (appr. $125) - which is less than 25 percent of what a new machine costs.

Commenting on the significant drop in prices of mining hardware, Ma said that devices which had been introduced in early 2018 with computational [capacity] of “10 TH/s per chip” now only trade for around 1,000 yuan (appr. $150).

New Mining Equipment Cheaper Than Used Hardware

Also, mining equipment developed using newer technologies, which are now increasingly being offered by relatively small hardware manufacturers, can be purchased brand new for even cheaper rates than used equipment of equivalent computational power.

When crypto prices skyrocketed, the Chinese residents said that vendors selling digital currency miners could be found everywhere in Huaqiangbei, which is a popular electronics hub in Shenzhen, China.

A Shenzhen-based vendor said:

All of mining machines are [now] sold at a discount of 30%. If you want to buy more than one, we can offer a better price and will give you more power cables and associated accessories for free.

Chinese Vendor

Liang Sizhong, a local PC repair shop owner, said:

Mining rig retailers and miners, the sellers of second-hand miner components ... are … under tons of pressure as the price of used graphic cards [has dropped] sharply. [In most cases], we do not collect used devices for recycling.

Liang Sizhong

Maker's MKR Token Has Risen 37% This Month, Outperforming the Crypto Market

  • MakerDAO loan payment system has performed well during extended crypto bear market.
  • This, according to market analyst, Sebastian Sinclair, who pointed out that MKR tokens are up 37% in value so far this month.

Ethereum-based token maker (MKR) has recently started outperforming the larger cryptoasset market - as MKR has recorded a 37% price rise so far this month.

Currently, MKR tokens are trading $534 after rising 3.4% in the last 24-hour period, and the market capitalization of the maker platform stands at $529.3 million - making it the 17 largest in the cryptocurrency space. On February 14, each MKR token was priced at 4.6 ETH, which is notably the token’s highest valuation since October 8, 2018.

At press time, MKR’s value against ETH has corrected back to approximately 4.16 ETH, presumably after some traders sold some of their holdings in order to take profits.

As explained on its official website, MakerDAO is a smart contract platform built on the Ethereum blockchain . The value of DAI, MakerDAO’s native stablecoin, is backed by ETH and it is also “soft-pegged” at a 1:1 ratio with the USD. DAI’s peg has been created via a system of collateralized debt positions (CDP). Functioning as a loan payment system, MakerDAO uses ETH as collateral, which is required for the governance of DAI in Maker’s ecosystem.

2% Of All ETH In Circulation Locked In MakerDAO Loans

So far this month, MKR’s value has appreciated considerably - when compared to its performance in previous months. According to Sebastian Sinclair, a market analyst and IT journalist, MKR’s recent price movements are a sign that the current bear market is “beginning to falter.”

Maker tokens are issued or burned according to DAI’s price movements - in order to maintain its peg. As Sinclair pointed out, the MakerDAO ecosystem has managed to perform relatively well during the prolonged crypto bear market - as 2% of all ETH in circulation is currently locked into MakerDAO loans.

At press time, over 1.97 million ETH have been locked up in Maker’s primary contract - which accounts for approximately 1.87% of over 104.86 million ETH in circulation. This figure is substantially higher than the 1% of ETH locked by Maker in November 2018. As Sinclair has observed, DAI is “overcollateralized” by over 200% (on average). This means that for every DAI that is issued, there is about $2-3 in ETH locked in CDPs. Because of this, when ETH’s value depreciates, more of that digital asset needs to be locked in Maker’s contracts - in order for DAI to remain collateralized.

MakerDAO Offers "Independent" And Competitive Interest Rates

Moreover, MKR tokens are used to cover transaction costs on the Maker platform and they provide investors with voting rights within MakerDAO’s “continuous approval voting system.”

Recently, MakerDAO’s management increased the platform’s stability fee from 0.5% to 1% - so that fluctuations in DAI’s price are reduced. This should (theoretically) help DAI maintain, or keep its peg close to the USD.

Commenting on the usefulness of MakerDAO, with its ability to offer “competitive” interest rates that are independent of the US Federal Reserve’s rates, Tanner Hoban, a former equity researcher and currently involved with ConsenSys, noted (via Twitter):