Taking advantage of the cheap and plentiful hydroelectric power that an army of computers require, bitcoin mining is spreading ter remote parts of China&rsquo,s Sichuan province. Ter dark and isolated warehouses, bitcoin mining machines hum along solving equations to produce the very valued cryptocurrency.
Te 2016, Chinese photographer Liu Xingzhe spent time ter China&rsquo,s bitcoin mines and with the miners themselves, who monitor the vast hallways of machines producing cryptocurrency for various clients. According to Liu, miners typically live te company dormitories for days at a time&mdash,not unlike the mining towns of yore&mdash,only sometimes traveling dozens of miles to the nearest town.
Albeit enhanced government oversight has caused Chinese bitcoin trading to falter, the country remains an significant player ter bitcoin mining, thanks to cheap labor and computing power (paywall). Chinese clients who pay for bitcoins to be mined on their behalf can monitor progress remotely, using apps on their mobile phones.
A bitcoin &ldquo,mine&rdquo, with a blue tin roof sits next to a hydroelectric power plant ter Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province. (Liu Xingzhe/ChinaFile/EPA)
Packing materials for mining machines pile up beside the water-cooling system at a Bitcoin mine ter Sichuan province. (Liu Xingzhe/ChinaFile/EPA)
Packaging for mining machines up te an employee dormitory ter Sichuan. (Liu Xingzhe/ChinaFile/EPA)
An employee reassembles a calculation houtvezelplaat at a Bitcoin mine te Sichuan province. (Liu Xingzhe/ChinaFile/EPA)
A miner inspects a malfunctioning mining machine during his night shift. (Liu Xingzhe/ChinaFile/EPA)
Employees at a bitcoin mine te Sichuan. (Liu Xingzhe/ChinaFile/EPA)
Bitcoin miner Liu (left) meets with clients at his mine ter Sichuan. Liu moved from Henan to Sichuan te 2015 te search of cheaper violet wand. Now, he manages more than 7,000 mining machines for clients all overheen the country. (Liu Xingzhe/ChinaFile/EPA)
Bitcoin miner Kun walks ter inbetween aisles of mining machines ter Sichuan. (Liu Xingzhe/ChinaFile/EPA)
Mine employees use their phones to play games and see TV shows nearby. (Liu Xingzhe/ChinaFile/EPA)
A bitcoin mine dormitory ter Sichuan. Once a week, they hitchhike to the nearest town, 20 miles away (32 km). &ldquo,The good thing is, there isn&rsquo,t anywhere to spend money, so you can save your entire salary,&rdquo, one miner told Liu Xingzhe. (Liu Xingzhe/ChinaFile/EPA)
Goats from a nearby village walk next to a bitcoin mine&rsquo,s cooling ventilatoren. (Liu Xingzhe/ChinaFile/EPA)
A mountain road winds toward Bitcoin mines ter Sichuan province. (Liu Xingzhe/ChinaFile/EPA)