Mining farms are data centers that are geared towards the technology used to mine cryptocurrencies. Mining is a complicated business that demands a greater degree of technical know-how and greater energy demands than the typical person with a traditional computer can muster. Dedicated mining farms are perfect for this task.
One of the terms that you’ll hear in connection with cryptocurrencies is Hash Rate. This is the speed at which a mathematical problem can be solved, and it’s expressed as "hash per second" (H/s).
Miners who put their machines to use solving these complex problems are rewarded with small amounts of whatever cryptocurrency they are mining. At first, this was all about bitcoin, and home computers were initially able to handle the workload involved, but bitcoin volume is time regulated, with a fixed amount being mined per time unit.
As more users connected with the blockchain network and began mining, more of them were claiming new coins, and those coins were produced in the same volume. Competition soared, so it became clear that more powerful machines could do more work and make more profit. With more miners in the network, the Hash Rate needed to rise to ensure profitability.
Mining farms make it much more profitable, with the biggest farms being able to hit several dozen PH/s (1015 hashes/second).
What mining farms look like
Physically, a crypto mining farm is a room full of computers. These are stripped down boxes with the powerful cooling fans that are needed to take on the task of keeping processers cool around-the-clock.
Ordinary people are perfectly able to do this in their own homes with their own machines, but the problem arises with a high electricity bill and constant heat production. These factors make mining both unprofitable and uncomfortable. Electricity is the limiting factor here, and the cost of keeping everything cool and ventilated can outweigh the available profits. That’s why mining farms tend to be located in naturally cool areas, or areas with naturally cheap electricity.
Launching a mining farm demands a lot of time and money, which is why investors often pool their resources to create user pools and share the returns.
China is by far the global leader in mining farms, where it’s estimated that around 70% of all mining takes place. The biggest bitcoin mining farms are in Iceland, thanks to a freezing cold climate and cheap electricity.
BitFury, still mines about 12% of all bitcoins, and it’s built three enormous data centers in the Tbilisi economic zone. The country of Georgia enjoys low electricity tariffs which encourage mining. The biggest cryptocurrency mining farm in Russia is claimed to have, according to statements from around 3000 ANTMINER S9 systems at its disposal for a combined throughput of 38 PH/S. It’s not known exactly where any of these massive mines are located due to their incredible profitability, which might encourage the wrong sort of attention.