US overtakes China as largest bitcoin mining center

US overtakes China as largest bitcoin mining center
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The U.S. has overtaken China as the largest bitcoin center after Beijing tamped down on cryptocurrency mining in recent months.

At the end of August, the U.S. controlled 35.4 percent of the global hash rate — the power of computers connected to the global bitcoin network — the largest percentage of all countries, according to data published on Wednesday by Britain’s Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and cited by Reuters.

Kazakhstan and Russia had the second- and third-largest hash rates, respectively, according to Reuters.

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China’s hash rate dropped significantly over the past few months, falling from 44 percent in May to zero in July, Reuters reported. In 2019, it had reached as high as 75 percent.

That decrease came as China cracked down on cryptocurrency.

China’s central bank announced last month that all cryptocurrency transactions in the country would be illegal, pointing to price volatility and the possibility for national security risks.

The People’s Bank of China argued in a statement that cryptocurrency had disrupted the financial order and has become a hotbed for “illegal and criminal activities such as gambling, illegal fund-raising, fraud, pyramid schemes, and money laundering.”

The country’s crackdown on cryptocurrency has driven miners to leave China and reestablish themselves in other countries, according to Reuters, but that strategy has proven to have logistical difficulties.