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Largest Bitcoin Mining Farms in the World | Sunbird DCIM

Largest Bitcoin Mining Farms in the World

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The data center industry has paved the way for bitcoin mining farms to drive sustainability. Check out our best content on how to increase data center energy efficiency:

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world’s largest bitcoin mining farms

If all bitcoin mining operations were one country, they would rank 61st in terms of energy consumption. This is because bitcoin networks are estimated to contain the computing power equivalent to over 3.7 million supercomputers.

Fundamentally, bitcoin mining operations and traditional data centers are similar in basic design and operating principles. power must enter the building and be distributed to equipment, air distribution systems cool equipment, and the building provides protection from outside conditions and security threats.

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For many bitcoin mining operations, the owners, exact locations, and details are not made fully public. however, some of the largest bitcoin mining farms in the world include:

  • dalian, china
    • hash rate: 360,000 th
    • monthly energy cost: $1,170,000
    • mine 750 bitcoin every month
    • mine 3% of all bitcoins
    • hash rate: 1000gh
    • strategic location in a cold climate
    • the largest cloud mining company in the world
    • estimated to consume the most electricity of any business in iceland
    • hashrate: 38 ph
    • monthly energy cost: $120,000
    • mine 600 btc every month
    • hash rate: 1.3 ph
    • located in washington state due to having some of the cheapest energy in the us. uu. at $0.0842 per kwh
    • started in owner’s basement
    • located in a factory building in a small town with attractive energy costs
    • the cool climate helps the mining process and prevents further overheating of the equipment
    • one of the oldest mining farms in the world
    • since 2011, it has deployed over 500 megawatts of computing power and mined over 600,000 bitcoin
    • uses two phase immersion cooling system providing energy savings of up to 95%

    key differences between bitcoin mining farms and traditional data centers

    While bitcoin mining farms and traditional data centers share some similarities, several key differences distinguish the two:

    • server layout. While enterprise servers must be able to handle a multitude of applications, mining servers are designed to perform a single task. mining servers can operate in temperatures as high as 90°F and between 10% and 80% relative humidity. A powerful mining server may have an electrical demand of 1.4 kW or more and dissipate large amounts of heat. as such, some manufacturers include a controller that varies the server’s fan speed, voltage, and clock speed based on its temperature. mining servers also have larger cross-sectional areas to allow better airflow through their specialized chips to allow for better heat dissipation.
    • building structure. mining farms are often located in storage facilities or warehouses. they have low levels of reliability and are not fully protected against extreme weather events. operational errors and spontaneous site infrastructure failures are not uncommon, and there is often little or no redundancy in cooling systems. with less cooling infrastructure, mechanical rooms are smaller, creating more space for mining servers but increasing the power capacity required.
    • air distribution. In a traditional data center, servers are mounted on racks that secure them in place, allow for cable management, and allow for proper airflow. On a mining farm, servers are often mounted in industrial racks, allowing quick replacement in the event of device failure. This shelving unit is cost effective to purchase and install. the opening of this configuration allows air to flow over, under, and to both sides of the computer. Since there is no formal airflow management such as hot/cold aisle containment, the air temperature at the inlet of servers varies widely.
    • cooling. By reducing or eliminating cooling system components such as chillers, cooling towers, pumps, piping and ductwork, mining farms can significantly reduce energy costs. Also, with servers that can operate at high temperatures, outside air can often be used for cooling without the need for mechanical cooling. therefore, the geographical location of a mining farm is very important. the coldest locations with servers that can operate in the highest temperatures result in the greatest energy efficiency. some data centers that support cryptocurrency mining take advantage of liquid immersion cooling in which liquid surrounds servers, absorbs heat, and turns into gas to dissipate heat.
    • efficiency and energy consumption. Energy costs are the main concern for mining farms. unlike enterprise servers where it is difficult to establish a one-to-one correlation between a server’s power consumption and return on investment, this metric can be easily obtained for mining servers as they only perform one task . understanding the parameters that influence energy consumption and financial performance is important to maximize profits.
    • reliability. reliability is not a key concern for mining farms, unlike their enterprise counterparts. this is because if a server fails, it is simply quickly replaced. you lose money, but it’s not on the same level as an enterprise data center experiencing downtime and affecting hundreds or thousands of customers.
    • full capacity. mining farms are packed with energy-hungry equipment running at full capacity 24/7/365, compared to traditional data centers whose workloads fluctuate with the demand. mining data centers have reached hundreds of kilowatts per rack, orders of magnitude higher than traditional data center racks.
    • sustainability concerns. The industrial scale and massive energy consumption inherent in cryptocurrency mining operations have generated negative attention from governments, the media, and consumers. countries like china, russia, vietnam, bolivia, columbia and ecuador have already banned the use of bitcoin as payment for goods and services.

    can data centers pave the way to a greener bitcoin?

    Bitcoin mining currently consumes about 110 terawatt-hours per year. This is 0.55% of global energy consumption and roughly equal to the annual energy demand of Malaysia or Sweden.

    Current carbon emissions caused by bitcoin mining are equivalent to 1 million transatlantic flights, or the energy output of the republic of ireland, new zealand, hungary or peru.

    Most bitcoin mining takes place where energy is plentiful and cheap. for example, 65% of the current hashrate is in china, where coal power is cheap, hydro and wind power are plentiful, and locally made mining hardware is cost effective and easy to deliver .

    See also: Bitcoins Not the Future of Money – But THIS Crypto Could Be!

    Estimates of what percentage of bitcoin mining uses renewable energy range from 39% to 73%. Furthermore, the short lifespan of bitcoin mining rigs is expected to generate a substantial amount of e-waste.

    Bitcoin mining continues to grow as an industry. beowulf mining expects to deploy 500 megawatts of bitcoin capacity by 2025. riot blockchain projects that its power consumption will grow from 51 megawatts to 257 megawatts by the end of 2022. bitfarms says it can add up to 210 megawatts of capacity at an operation in Argentina.

    In the future, it is estimated that the entire bitcoin network will consume up to 185 terawatt-hours each year, almost as much as all global data centers consume annually.

    this energy consumed would result in 90.2 million metric tons of co2 emissions, comparable to the carbon footprint of the london metropolitan area and more than the annual mining-related emissions of world gold. As such, there are growing sustainability concerns about bitcoin mining.

    A decade ago, the data center industry faced similar concerns and was able to dramatically increase efficiency and use of renewable energy to the point where many organizations now aim for zero carbon emissions. Global data center power consumption grew by only 6% between 2010 and 2018 while the number of physical servers grew by 30% and virtual machines increased by 550%. this was an impressive reversal of the 90% growth in data center power consumption between 2000 and 2005.

    Bitcoin miners may need to learn from their traditional counterparts to avoid regulators imposing higher electricity rates, confiscation of equipment, additional taxes or restrictions on cryptocurrencies.

    See also: Scott Minerd says Bitcoin price will drop to 8K, but technical analysis says otherwise

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