Multiple Hydropower Plants up For Sale in China as Crypto Miners Flee

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In Brief
  • Online ads for secondhand hydropower plants in China are on the rise.

  • The power plants for sale coincide with China's crackdown on crypto mining that began in May.

  • The Chinese crackdown has also affected the price of graphics cards used in mining.

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As China continues to exile cryptocurrency miners, the equipment related to mining is also being liquidated. 

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According to the South China Morning Post, a number of interesting items have popped up on secondhand websites in China. While mining rigs and other equipment related to the industry have been popping up more and more recently due to bans, a power plant is not something many would expect to see on a site like eBay or Craigslist.

Yet, that is exactly the kind of thing you can buy right now online if you are so inclined. 

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These ‘small-scale’ hydroelectric plants are in need of new customers after the crypto mining sector was largely sent packing by the Chinese government. The swift crackdown on the bitcoin mining industry has forced the owners of these small plants to try and liquidate their assets before the demand for cheap power totally dries up.

The website Xianyu has seen an increase in hydro plants with capacities around 50 megawatts since the crackdown began in May. Many of these plants are in the southern Sichuan province, which has been known as an area with extensive resources for hydropower.

Sichuan and energy-rich areas like it had been a hub for bitcoin miners who enjoyed the cheap electricity offered by water power. As of last week, 26 bitcoin mining farms were shut down in Sichuan alone. 

The South China Morning Press (SCMP) also contacted a few sellers who had very different responses to their questions. One seller stated that if you buy a hydropower station from them, you can secretly mine cryptocurrency with it. Three other sellers of plants confirmed that they were for sale because of China’s recent crackdown and that prices for hydro-plants are taking a hit. 

Others, meanwhile, stated that their listing was completely unrelated to the cryptocurrency industry and the crackdown at all. 

Graphics card prices also take a hit

While the ongoing bans of crypto mining in China have affected the miners specifically, other industries are also feeling the impact. In a separate piece from the SCMP, it was reported that the prices for graphics cards have nosedived after Sichuan ceased mining operation in the region. 

The graphics cards in question are primarily used for gaming computers, but bitcoin miners also used them extensively. This caused problems of its own when gamers couldn’t find the hardware needed to run HQ titles because they were either being snatched up by miners or hoarded for resale down the road. The industry responded by making more cards and, lo and behold, now that mining is dying in China, the prices of cards are plummeting. 

The report highlights the Nvidia Quadro P1000 which is an entry-level card that, on Monday morning was selling for $375. The same product sold for almost $100 more in early May before the bans started coming down. The price change was tracked by Manmanbuy and is consistent from entry-level models all the way up to advanced cards like the Asus RTX3060. 

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Matthew De Saro is a journalist and media personality specializing in sports, gambling, and statistics. Before joining BeInCrypto, his work was featured on Fansided, Forbes, and OutKick. With a background in statistical analysis and a love of writing, he takes an outside-the-box approach to reporting news.

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