Bitcoin mines are a lot like mineral mines: dark, dismal, and dangerous. Most people wouldn't know this, though, since these facilities are tucked away in weird, remote corners of the globe. That said, Motherboard recently visited one of the world's largest bitcoin mines in a remote corner of China and made a documentary about it.
Indeed, the inside of the warehouse-like facility resembles a dark cavern carpeted with tangled ethernet cords. Through these cables runs enough bitcoin-crunching code to generate some 4,050 bitcoins a month. (That's about $1.5 million at current exchange rates.) The conditions for workers, who live in the facility round the clock, look absolutely dismal. And once you start to consider the electricity consumption and heat production involved in the whole process, it's obvious that the whole set up is rather dangerous.
This is a monstrous operation, too. As Motherboard reports, "The group's collective computing power [in six sites owned by a secretive group of four people] accounts for 3 percent of the entire Bitcoin network." That kind of makes you wonder where the other 97 percent are coming from, huh?