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

Token Taxonomy Initiative Launched By Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Microsoft

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), an organization focused on “developing open, blockchain specifications” and standards that enhance “interoperability for businesses and consumers,” is working with Microsoft on an initiative that will help companies issue the appropriate type of crypto tokens for their requirements.

Referred to as the “Token Taxonomy Initiative,” the token development project will be built and managed using Ethereum, Hyperledger, Digital Asset’s DAML, and R3’s Corda technologies.

EY, Microsoft, Digital Asset, Banco Santander Join Token Taxonomy Initiative

Some of the prominent members of the Token Taxonomy Initiative include JPMorgan, IBM, Ernst & Young, ConsenSys, Blockchain Research Institute, Microsoft, Web3 Labs, R3, ING, Intel, Komgo, Clearmatics, Digital Asset, and Banco Santander. This, according to announcement made on April 17th, 2019, which also revealed that the token creation initiative will be open and accessible to all users who want to contribute to its ongoing development.

In order to facilitate the creation of project-specific tokens, there will be several workshops conducted and there will also be a Github repository where users can publish their research findings. Additionally, the repository can be used to upload test data which may be related to various blockchain-based token implementation projects.

Standardizing Tokens May Lead To “Great Economic Opportunities”

Commenting on the launch of the Token Taxonomy project, Ron Resnick, the Executive Director at the EEA, remarked:

We are doing this for the greater common good. Standardizing tokens across all networks could hold the key to one of the greatest economic opportunities in modern history.

Marley Gray, the Principal Architect at Microsoft, who has been credited with originally proposing the Token Taxonomy Initiative, noted that his colleagues had conducted a research study - which involved asking various investigative questions. Responding to these questions, Microsoft’s internal business partners mentioned that they were interested in learning more about and improving the existing software licensing process.

Microsoft’s business associates have now reportedly recommended using tokenized and smart contract-enabled software licenses - instead of the traditional licensing process which requires users to register complex holographic IDs for each software license.

In statements shared with Coindesk, Gray explained:

The idea is to use a workshop with business people to describe a token completely that services their business requirements. That token itself is composed of reusable components so another group can use those same components to define a slightly different token without redefining all the things that initial group did – so it creates this framework.

"Drag And Drop" To Create Customized Tokens

Gray added that businesses would be able to “grab a non-fungible token and drag it over and then start from a pallet of behaviors” and “drag those behaviors.” This, in a manner which would be similar to how “drag and drop” works on GUI-based operating systems such as Windows and Linux.

According to Gray, this is a user-friendly and intuitive way of defining tokens as users can use easy-to-follow steps and a visual interface to create and issue cryptographic assets

Gray further noted:

An individual [token] behavior could point to a snippet of code for a particular platform, i.e. DAML for some particular behavior would link me to a particular piece of DAML code, or the same for Solidity, or Chaincode.