One of the world’s largest bitcoin mines is located in the SanShangLiang industrial park on the outskirts of the city of Ordos, in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region that’s part of China. It’s 400 miles from China’s capital, Beijing, and 35 miles from the the city of Baotou. The mine is just off the highway, near the intersection of Latitutde 3rd Road and Longitude 3rd Road. It sits amidst abandoned, half-built factories—victims of an earlier coal mining boom that fizzled out, leaving Ordos and its outlying areas littered with the shells of unfinished buildings.
The mine belongs to Bitmain, a Beijing-based company that also makes mining machines that perform billions of calculations per second to try and crack the cryptographic puzzle that yields new bitcoins. Fifty Bitmain staff, many of them local to Ordos, watch over eight buildings crammed with 25,000 machines that are cranking through calculations 24 hours a day. One of the buildings is devoted to mining litecoin, an ascendant cryptocurrency. The staff live on-site in a building with a dormitory, offices, a canteen, and a repair center. For recreation, they play basketball on an unfinished cement court.
Bitcoin mining consumes enormous amounts of electricity, which is why miners seek out locations that offer cheap energy. The Ordos mine was set up in 2014, making it China’s oldest large-scale bitcoin mining facility. Bitmain acquired it in 2015. It’s powered by electricity mostly from coal-fired power plants. Its daily electricity bill amounts to $39,000. Bitmain also operates other mines in China’s remote areas, like the mountainous Yunnan province in the south and the autonomous region of Xinjiang in the west. …
Just like they created the great wall of China in the 5th, 8th and 14th centuries, the only man made structure visible from space, so the Chinese have set about in this, the 21st century to create fortifications of a similar scale.
The land reclamation in the Spratlys represents the greatest structure created by man, and again, similar to the great wall, an engineering feat in defence of the the realm, this time not to keep out the Mongols to the North, but the United States’s professed ‘pivot to Asia‘.
Updated December 14th, 2016 – China appears to have installed weapons, including anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, on all seven of the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea. Pictures added below.
Updated June 24th – Mischief Island. Chinese state media reports on island.
May 20th 2015: CNN decided to fly a plane along with the American military over a set of islands, known as the Spratly or Nansha Islands, located in the South China Sea.
Images show one of the greatest geo-forming feats in engineering history, the creation of up to six islands, along with airstrips and deep harbors, multistory buildings and runways, all in under 2 years.
Here’s a map of the islands China currently has it’s attention on.
China expects to lay off 1.8 million workers in the coal and steel industries, or about 15% of the workforce, as part of efforts to reduce industrial overcapacity.
It was the first time China gave figures that underlining the magnitude of its task in dealing with slowing growth and bloated state enterprises.
Yin Weimin, the minister for human resources and social security, told a news conference on Monday that 1.3 million workers in the coal sector could lose their jobs, plus 500,000 from the steel sector.
China’s coal and steel sectors employ about 12 million workers, according to data published by the National Bureau of Statistics. “This involves the resettlement of a total of 1.8 million workers. This task will be very difficult, but we are still very confident,” Yin said. …