Bitcoin Hash Wars to See SE Asia Emerge as Mining Powerhouse

From abandoned malls to hydro plants, SE Asia’s Bitcoin boom is set to reshape the mining landscape, challenging U.S. supremacy.

Guy walking around Asia with a hovering crypto coin.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • Southeast Asian countries are poised to become Bitcoin mining hubs.
  • The U.S. has taken over China as the leading mining country
  • Donald Trump is appealing to crypto voters in the U.S. presidential race.

Before China’s sweeping ban on cryptocurrency trading and mining in 2021, the country stood as the undisputed leader in Bitcoin mining, commanding 67% of the global hash rate at its peak. However, the sudden crypto prohibition turned the mining industry upside down, forcing a dramatic redistribution of mining power almost overnight.

Three years after China’s crackdown and with no sign of a policy U-turn, the global Bitcoin mining landscape sees the U.S. and Kazakhstan as global hash rate leaders. However, Southeast (SE) Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, and Laos are positioning themselves as emerging mining hubs.

SE Asia Poised to Become Bitcoin Mining Hub 

SE Asian countries are set to challenge the U.S. and Kazakhstan as significant Bitcoin mining hubs, thanks to factors such as competitively priced electricity, a skilled labor pool, and the availability of existing infrastructure in the region.

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According to Fred Thiel, CEO and chairman of Marathon Digital Holdings, mining operations in SE Asia are creatively repurposing abandoned spaces, such as deserted shopping malls, defunct steel factories, and areas adjacent to hydroelectric plants, breathing new life into otherwise dormant industrial sites.

The migration of miners to SE Asia has triggered a parallel movement among mining equipment manufacturers. Ben Gagnon, chief mining officer at Bitfarms, revealed that major mining manufacturers are establishing production facilities close to these mining operations.

Notably, industry giants like Bitmain and MicroBT have set up operations in the region. Gagnon stated that Malaysia has become a primary production center, with additional manufacturing locations sprouting in Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, and to a lesser extent, the U.S.

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The uptick in Bitcoin mining activity in Southeast Asia positions the region to become a more significant player in the global hash war. However, with presidential hopeful Donald Trump incorporating crypto advocacy into his election campaign, it’s clear that the U.S. intends to maintain its dominance.

Trump Turns to Crypto Voters 

In recent weeks, Trump has increasingly appealed to crypto advocates by incorporating pro-crypto rhetoric into his election campaign. The latest incident saw the former president position Bitcoin as “the last line of defense against a CBDC,” while declaring his desire for “all the remaining Bitcoin to be MADE IN THE USA!!!”

However, this latest move was met with criticism from various quarters. Ryan Gorman, head of strategy at Uranium3o8, argued that concentrating all the hash rates in a single jurisdiction contradicts Bitcoin’s core philosophy of decentralization.

This sentiment was echoed by Laura Shin, host of the Unchained Podcast, who warned that such a move would make Bitcoin “less decentralized and vulnerable to attack.”

ShapeShift founder Erik Voorhees offered a more nuanced interpretation of Trump’s statement. Voorhees suggested that Trump’s comments might be a case of misunderstood semantics, proposing that the former president likely meant he wants the U.S. to create “a welcoming environment” for Bitcoin.

On the Flipside

  • The U.S. is the leading country for BTC mining, currently accounting for 35% of the global hash rate.
  • China‘s control of BTC mining peaked in October 2021, when it held 67% of the hash rate. At that time, the U.S. accounted for 6.7% of the global hash rate.
  • Malaysia is the only SE Asian country in the top 8 BTC mining countries, holding 4.6% of the global hash rate.

Why This Matters

SE Asia emerging as a Bitcoin mining region would diversify the network’s geographical distribution while enhancing economic opportunities.

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This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Samuel Wan

Samuel Wan is a finance professional turned crypto journalist, known for his insightful reporting on market trends, regulatory changes, and technological developments within the digital asset industry. His ability to simplify complex concepts and report the facts has made him a trusted source in the crypto community. Beyond his writing, Samuel is an active mountain biker and gamer.