Cryptocurrency retail mining in Thailand appears to have received a boost from the capitulation of Chinese miners over the country’s new massive cryptocurrency ban, which was introduced in September.
Al Jazeera reported on Wednesday that Thai entrepreneurs and cryptocurrency firms are increasingly taking advantage of Chinese miners who are dumping cryptocurrency mining machines.
“The moment China banned cryptocurrencies, we were ecstatic,” said a Bitcoin (BTC) enthusiast from Thailand who became a miner.
The miner, who asked not to be named, said he built a small solar-powered digital mining rig for about $30,000. “I did it all in three months,” he said.
Another industry founder, Pongsakorn Tongtawinan, opened a cryptocurrency mining equipment dealer in Thailand and is said to have sold hundreds of Chinese application integrated circuits (ASICs) to small local investors.
Prices for ASICs like the Bitmain Antminer SJ19 Pro fell 30% as Chinese miners left before bouncing back to normal amid growing domestic demand, Pongsakorn said.
Pongsakorn believes that the rise in popularity of cryptocurrency mining in Thailand’s retail industry is due to people looking for a stable income during the pandemic and that investors are becoming more optimistic about the future of digital assets.
“Bitcoin is the gold of the digital world,” he said. “But a mining platform is like gold mining stocks – you get paid according to the price of gold.”
Thailand is not the only country whose development of cryptocurrency mining has benefited from the exodus of cryptocurrency miners from China. Countries such as the US, Kazakhstan and Russia have faced a massive influx of new mining operations due to the collapse of cryptocurrencies in China.
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The growing popularity of cryptocurrency mining in Thailand matches the rapid adoption of local cryptocurrencies, with sales on several local cryptocurrency exchanges rising to $6.6M in November 2021 from just $538M last year.
The institutional demand for cryptocurrencies in Thailand is also growing exponentially. In early November, Thailand’s oldest bank, Siam Commercial Bank, paid $537 million to acquire a 51% stake in BitKub, Thailand’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.