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Chinese hydropower plants on sale as crypto miners move abroad

Small-scale hydroelectric plants in China are reportedly looking for new customers as crypto miners go abroad amid a nationwide crackdown on mining activity.

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), advertisements for small-scale hydro plants with 50-megawatt capacity have surged on Chinese secondhand e-commerce platforms such as Xianyu. 

According to the SCMP, some sellers claimed that their listings were unrelated to the cryptocurrency mining industry, while others said that their bids came as a result of the recent crackdown on crypto mining. 

One seller reportedly said that small dams rely on crypto miners for a customer base because they have not obtained approval from state authorities and environmental protection agencies to connect to the power grid.

 “You can secretly mine cryptocurrency if you buy a hydropower station,” one seller told the SCMP.

The news comes as Chinese Bitcoin (BTC) miners are capitulating or relocating their operations to other countries. Bitmain, the largest crypto mining equipment provider in the world, reportedly halted global spot sales for its new crypto miners last week in order to avoid losses by customers amid massive selling on the secondary market. A number of key industry players including Bitmain’s rival Canaan and major mining pool BTC.com have been relocating operations to more crypto mining-friendly countries such as Kazakhstan.

Related: Nvidia GPU prices in China fall amid crypto mining crackdown

Meanwhile, the price of GPUs in the mainland has dropped dramatically. Some reports found that this was a result of decreased demand from cryptocurrency miners. Asus’ RTX 3060 card was reportedly selling for $730 earlier this month, down from its peak price of $2,100 in May on JD.com-operated online retail site Tmall.

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