Tracking of illegal bitcoin mines on the Dadu River: the mine owner’s investment is back to the original million

A mine plant built by the Dadu River Hydropower Station.

"Bitcoin 'mining' plant is illegally built on the side of the Dadu River"


Excessive power generation during the wet season, so that the hydropower station and the mine found the best reason for cooperation. For every penny of electricity bills, the cost savings for the entire mine are "greatly scary."

Under the premise of getting electricity, the mine owner invested tens of millions of yuan, and can build a factory in the power station, and then carry out "investment." Players who hear the news need to pay the electricity and aircraft fees in advance, and pay a deposit of several million yuan. “The market is good, the mine owner can recover the investment in one year.”

Players invest 3,000 sets of mining machines, the cost of more than 4 million yuan, the benefits of good 10 yuan a month, according to the current market income of more than 500,000 yuan, one year can recover the cost.

Like migratory birds, the mining machine that “digs” bitcoin has moved back to the Dadu River Basin in Sichuan.

On May 28, the Dadu River entered the flood season and the water flow was in a hurry. Thousands of mining machines entered a 24-hour operation next to a power station in the Shenshan Mountains of Ganzi Prefecture, Sichuan Province. In the factory, workers are loading miners from all over the country into the machine room.

A senior mining player in Sichuan said that the mine owner is not too far away from the mountain, looking for a hydropower station in the deep mountain valley, and then building the mining plant in or near the power station, only to purchase electricity directly from the power station, saving mining costs.

It is recognized in the industry that 70% of the world's Bitcoin is produced in China, while 70% of China's mines are in Sichuan, especially in the Dadu River Basin.

However, in Kangding City, Ganzi Prefecture, Sichuan, the relevant management departments did not support Bitcoin mining. The relevant person in charge of the Natural Resources Bureau of Kangding City introduced that on May 27th, a local working group had been set up, and the area was under investigation. Some factories were facing illegal punishment if they were suspected of illegal construction.

Migratory bird mine

In May, during the southern flood season, returning to Sichuan and Yunnan from Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang was an inevitable choice for mining players.

At the beginning of May, senior player Xiaowu (pseudonym) took 3,000 mining machines and started to find a mine in Sichuan. The mine near the Dadu River in Ganzi Prefecture is an ideal place. There are more hydropower stations and the electricity price is relatively cheap.

Xiaowu feels that they are well described as "migrant birds" by the outside world. Sichuan and Yunnan, where water and electricity are abundant, enter the winter dry season. Players migrated to Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia on a long-distance route. They searched for thermal power plants here. Until the second year of May, when the river was soaring, they flew back like migratory birds.

"The power supply is directly powered by 2 points and 8 points, which is very cheap." Xiaowu said that for every penny cheap, the cost saved for the entire mine is "greatly scary", but the hydropower is stopped during the dry season. They had to migrate to the north to "winter", although the price of thermal power exceeded $3.

Compared with the construction of a fixed factory, after many years of migration experience, the mine owner replaced the factory with a container, which is more convenient for north and south.

These "migrant birds" mines have nearly 100,000 mining machines and thousands of small ones. The so-called mining machine is actually a computer, and the faster the calculation, the better.

There are also mines that do not migrate. They choose to "sleep" for half a year in the original computer room.

Looking for electricity in the mountains

Bitcoin "mining", the largest and most direct consumption is electricity, each excavation of a coin, 50% of the proceeds used to pay for electricity.

It can avoid the national power grid and directly purchase electricity from the power station, which will save more costs. Most hydropower stations are located in deep mountain gorges. Mine owners with strong capital can always find hydropower stations and reach a direct power supply agreement. Not only the electricity price is lower, but also the “over-network fee” of the State Grid is eliminated.

The hydropower station is also willing to cooperate with the mine. During the wet season, the power generation is excessive. This alone allows the two sides to find the best reason for cooperation.

The mine at the Jinkang Hydropower Station in Guzhen Town, Kangding County can get 500 million kWh of electricity a year. According to the calculation of 0.2 yuan, it is necessary to pay 100 million yuan for the power station.

Under the premise of getting electricity, the mine owner invested tens of millions of yuan, and can build a factory in the power station, and then carry out "investment." The mine in Jinkang Hydropower Station has 5 workshops. This year, 30,000 mining machines have been installed, and the full load will reach 50,000.

Players who hear the news need to pay the electricity and aircraft fees in advance, and pay a deposit of several million yuan. “The market is good, the mine owner can recover the investment in one year.” Xiaowu also mentioned that a small number of mine owners are not so trustworthy, they will not refund the deposit after the expiration, or will receive a new margin until the next year. Will retreat.

“The state has not made a clear statement on the support of bitcoin mining.” Xiaowu said that in response to local government inspections, the mine will be euphemistically described as a “big data project”, which is also the smooth landing of the mine owner. One of the reasons, "but not really big data operations, is to sell sheep meat."

So, the high-speed on the national road, the national road to the provincial road, the provincial road to the county road, the mine is built in the mountains, and the factory is actually a steel structure board room.

Crazy mining

On May 28th, Bitcoin climbed $8,903 (about RMB 61,000), another new high since 2019.

“This makes more and more people mine.” Xiaowu said that although China closed the bitcoin trading platform and identified it as illegal, 70% of the world’s bitcoin is produced in China, while 70% of China’s mines In Sichuan. The industry even spread: Sichuan has become the natural "mineral capital" of Bitcoin.

On May 28, in the Jinkang Hydropower Station under China's Datang, the “mine site” built a substation across the wall of the hydropower station and connected it to the plant. The factory was put into use in 2018, and the shortest is only a few meters away from the Dadu River.

When the power station discharges water, the water spray splashes nearly 10 meters high and is spilled into the mine area. The staff joked: "This is natural cooling water."

On the wall of the building in the “Minefield”, there is a large fan running at high speed. The fan in front of the factory is equipped with dense mining machines. Before some vacant seats, many workers are busy installing the mining machine. Outside the factory, you can hear the roar of the machine running.

The staff introduced to Xiaowu, which was built by the enterprises of Zhuzhou, Hunan Province. It only accepts models of S9 and above, and the price of electricity should be discussed with the person in charge of the company. More than 30,000 mining machines are from Sichuan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shenzhen and other places. The owner will host their own mining machines in the mine. They pay the electricity, plane fees, deposits, etc., and wait for the coins. The mining machine is running for 24 hours and runs for half a year.

Although it is a senior "miner", Xiaowu cannot explain how bitcoin is produced. He understands that Bitcoin is a set of specific formulas. Currently, it is designed to be 21 million. A solution is published every 10 minutes. The specially produced computer is solved according to a specific algorithm. The fastest solution is to obtain a coin. This process is The image is called "mining."

Xiaowu said that the investment of 3,000 sets of mining machines will cost more than 4 million yuan, and the benefits will be 10 yuan a month. According to the current market price of more than 500,000 yuan, the cost can be recovered in one year. However, the "mine disaster" occurred from time to time. At the end of 2018, Bitcoin fell below the cost price. Many mining machines worth 2,000 yuan were sold for 200 yuan.

Although the market is currently high, Xiaowu is also worried that the mining will be stopped overnight. On April 8 this year, the National Development and Reform Commission announced the Catalogue of Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance (2019, Draft for Soliciting Opinions), and publicly solicited opinions from the public. Among them, the virtual currency "mining" activities (the production process of virtual currency such as Bitcoin) were included in the elimination industry. "If the final draft has not changed, it is illegal to 'mining mine'."

Source: Huaxi Dushi Bao

Huaxi Dushi Bao – cover journalist Tian Xueyu Chen Yuanyang photo report

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