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Technicians make repairs to bitcoin mining machines at a mining facility operated by Bitmain in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China, on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017.
Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

China has long been home to more than half the world’s bitcoin miners, but now, Beijing wants them out ASAP. 

In May, the government called for a severe crackdown on bitcoin mining and trading, setting off what’s being dubbed in crypto circles as “the great mining migration.” This exodus is underway now, and it could be a game changer for Texas.

Mining is the energy-intensive process which both creates new coins and maintains a log of all transactions of existing digital tokens. 

Despite a lack of reserves that caused days-long blackouts last winter, Texas often has some of the world’s lowest energy prices, and its share of renewables is growing over time, with 20% of its power coming from wind as of 2019. It has a deregulated power grid that lets customers choose between power providers, and crucially, its political leaders are very pro-crypto – dream conditions for a miner looking for a kind welcome and cheap energy sources.

“You are going to see a dramatic shift over the next few months,” said Brandon Arvanaghi, previously a security engineer at crypto exchange Gemini. “We have governors like Greg Abbott in Texas who are promoting mining. It is going to become a real industry in the United States, which is going to be incredible.”

China’s mining dominance

2021 data for the global distribution of mining power is not yet available, but past estimates have shown that 65% to 75% of the world’s bitcoin mining happened in China – mostly in four Chinese provinces: Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Sichuan, and Yunnan. Sichuan and Yunnan’s hydropower make them renewable energy meccas, while Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia are home to many of China’s coal plants. 

The drawdown in miners has already begun in Inner Mongolia. After failing to meet Beijing’s climate targets, province leaders decided to give bitcoin miners two months to clear out, explicitly blaming its energy misses on crypto mines. 

Castle Island Ventures founding partner Nic Carter says that while it’s not totally clear how China will handle next steps, it a phased rollout is likely. “It seems like we’re going from policy statement to actual implementation in relatively short order,” he said.

The way this exodus is measured is by looking at hashrate, an industry term used to describe the computing power of all miners in the bitcoin network.

“Given the drop in hashrate, it appears likely that installations are being turned off throughout the country,” continued Carter, who also thinks that probably 50 to 60% of bitcoin’s entire hashrate will ultimately leave China. 

Although China’s announcement hasn’t been cemented in policy, that isn’t stopping miners like Alejandro De La Torre from cutting their losses and making an exit.

“We do not want to face every single year, some sort of new ban coming in China,” said De La Torre, vice president of Hong Kong-headquartered mining pool, Poolin. “So we’re trying to diversify our global mining hashrate, and that’s why we are moving to the United States and to Canada.”

One of bitcoin’s greatest features is that it is totally location agnostic. Miners only require an internet connection, unlike other industries that must be relatively close to their end users. 

“The cool thing about bitcoin that is under appreciated by a lot of the naysayers is that it’s a portable market; you can bring it right to the source of energy,” explained Steve Barbour, founder of Upstream Data, a company that manufactures and supplies portable mining solutions for oil and gas facilities.

That said, the exodus won’t be instantaneous, in part, because it will take miners some time to either move their machines out of China or liquidate their assets and set up shop elsewhere. 

Where they’re going

Because miners at scale compete in a low-margin industry, where their only variable cost is typically energy, they are incentivized to migrate to the world’s cheapest sources of power. 

“Every Western mining host I know has had their phones ringing off the hook,” said Carter. “Chinese miners or miners that were domiciled in China are looking to Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the U.S., and Northern Europe.”

One likely destination is China’s next-door neighbor, Kazakhstan. The country’s coal mines provide a cheap and abundant energy supply. It also helps that Kazakhstan has a more lax attitude to building, which bodes well for miners who need to construct physical installations in a short period of time. 

Didar Bekbauov runs Xive, a company that provides hosting services to international miners. Xive also sells the specialized equipment needed for mining. 

Bekbauov says that he’s stopped counting the number of Chinese miners who have called him to ask about relocation options, ranging from operations with 15 rigs to thousands. 

“One miner told us that only government electricity plants have restricted mining and private ones will continue to service miners,” Bekbauov told CNBC. 

“But most of the electricity is generated by government power plants, so miners will have to move. That makes them uncertain and desperate to find other locations,” he said.

Whether Kazakhstan is a destination or simply a stopover on a longer migration west remains to be seen. 

Arvanaghi is bullish on North America and thinks the hashrate there will grow over the next few months.

“Texas not only has the cheapest electricity in the U.S. but some of the cheapest in the globe,” he said. “It’s also very easy to start up a mining company…if you have $30 million, $40 million, you can be a premier miner in the United States.”

Wyoming has also trended toward being pro-bitcoin and could be another mining destination, according to Arvanaghi.

There are, however, a few major limitations to the U.S. becoming a global mining destination.

For one, the lead time to build the actual physical infrastructure necessary to host miners is likely six to nine months, Carter told CNBC. “The U.S. probably can’t be as nimble as other countries in terms of onshoring these stray miners,” he said.

The move logistics may also prove difficult. There is a shipping container shortage, thanks to the tailwinds of the Covid pandemic. 

But perhaps the biggest question is the reliability of the Texas power grid. A storm that devastated large swaths of the state in 2020 has reignited a debate over whether Texas should winter-proof its systems, a potentially costly project that might affect taxes or other fees for those looking to tap into the state’s power grid. More recently, ERCOT, the organization that operates Texas’ grid, asked consumers to conserve energy amid what officials called an unusual number of “forced generation outages” and an upcoming heat wave.

Answering the Musk critique

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has bashed bitcoin mining, claiming that it is bad for the environment. It’s not a new criticism.

For years, skeptics have maligned the world’s most popular digital token for polluting the planet, while supporters have extolled the virtues of bitcoin and its role in accelerating the rise of renewable energy. 

It is unclear whether the China mining exodus will make or break the case for bitcoin enthusiasts in the debate around the token’s carbon footprint. The dominant narrative, to date, has been that much of the world’s bitcoin is mined with Chinese goal. 

“From a narrative perspective, it’s definitely an improvement,” said Carter. “But China also has the most abundant stranded hydro resources in the world.”

The country offers significant energy vectors from wind, solar, and especially hydropower in the south. Xinjiang’s grid, for example, is 35% powered by wind and solar energy inputs.

If all the miners do end up leaving China, it will mean less fossil fuel-powered mining, but it will also mean that the network’s share of renewable energy-powered mining will drop. This is why the question of where these migrant miners end up could prove critical to bitcoin’s future. “It’s the biggest story of the year for bitcoin,” said Carter. 

De La Torre says they’re looking to expand operations using green energy, a trend that is already years in the making. He says that hydro plants are generally cheaper than fossil fuels in most parts of the world.

“Mining is price sensitive, so as to seek out the lowest cost power and the lowest cost power tends to be renewable because if you’re burning fossil fuels…it has extraction, refinement, and transport costs,” explained Blockstream CEO Adam Back. 

Lazard

Each year, investment bank Lazard releases a breakdown of energy costs by source. Its 2020 report shows that many of the most common renewable energy sources are either equal to or less expensive than conventional energy sources like coal and gas. And the cost of renewable power keeps going down.

But there are limitations to running crypto mines purely on renewable energy.

Though solar and wind are now the world’s least expensive energy sources, both power supplies face limitations at scale, so there is concern over the viability of miners turning exclusively to wind or solar energy.

Next six months

For the time being, there isn’t that much mining capacity worldwide that is ready to absorb the Chinese miner diaspora. While they scramble to find a new home, we could see hashrate go offline – and stay offline. 

In practice, that would mean all the remaining miners are more profitable for a period of time. 

Having more geographic dispersion would even out the global balance of power, and it would also reduce the ability of any one sovereign nation to co-opt or control the network.

We may also see special crypto economic zones pop up in the next few months.

“You will see jurisdictions adopting a very favorable stance and creating the equivalent of special zones to encourage miners to host locally,” said Carter. “We’re seeing it at the state level here. You’re also gonna see it at the country level, you might even see subsidized electricity for mining.”

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Tesla Semi Delivery Event news hub: Livestream and updates

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Tesla Semi Delivery Event news hub: Livestream and updates

Tesla is holding its “Tesla Semi Delivery Event” today at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET) to deliver the first electric truck to customers. The company is also expected to have a presentation about the production version of the truck.

Here’s our news hub for the event, where you can watch the livestream and get updates.

Three years late, but it is now here. Tesla is going to deliver the first production version of the Tesla Semi electric truck to customers – to PepsiCo, to be more specific.

The Tesla Semi was first unveiled in 2017, and it was supposed to enter production in 2020, but it was delayed several times.

Now the automaker is finally ready to make the first deliveries after having started low-volume production at a facility outside of Gigafactory Nevada in October.

Today, Tesla is expected to deliver the first few units to Pepsi. After the launch of Tesla Semi in 2017, PepsiCo placed one of the biggest orders for Tesla Semi – 100 electric trucks to add to its fleet. The company planned to use 15 of those trucks for a project to turn its Frito-Lay Modesto, California, site into a zero-emission facility. Last year, PepsiCo said that it expected to take deliveries of those 15 Tesla Semi trucks by the end of the year before it was delayed again.

On top of the first deliveries, Tesla is expected to give an update on the specs and pricing of the electric truck, which are expected to be updated from the original 2017 unveiling.

Those are the base expectations for the event, but there could also be a few surprises since Tesla used the original Tesla Semi unveiling for a surprise unveiling of the Tesla Roaster.

We never know.

Tesla Semi Delivery Event livestream

Here we are going to share posts based on the most important news coming out of the Tesla Semi Delivery Event:

Refresh the page to get the latest information.

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Segway’s 40-mile range Ninebot MAX G30P electric scooter falls $150 to $600 in New Green Deals

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Segway's 40-mile range Ninebot MAX G30P electric scooter falls 0 to 0 in New Green Deals

Are you tired of using gas and oil for your daily commute? Well, Segway’s Ninebot MAX G30P electric scooter is a great way to get back and forth from work to home without using a single drop of fossil fuels. It’s on sale for $600 today, which is down $150 from its normal going rate and also marks a return to its all-time low that we’ve only seen once before. We also have a wide selection of Tesla and e-bike discounts in today’s New Green Deals, so you won’t want to miss that either.

Head below for other New Green Deals that we’ve found today and of course Electrek’s best EV buying and leasing deals. Also, check out the new Electrek Tesla Shop for the best deals on Tesla accessories.

Cruise around on a Segway electric scooter

Through next week, Woot is offering a wide selection of Segway electric scooters and more on sale. Our top pick is the Ninebot MAX G30P Electric Kick Scooter for $599.99 Prime shipped, with non-Prime members being charged a $6 delivery fee. Normally $750 at Amazon or Best Buy, today’s deal matches the all-time low that we’ve tracked at Amazon. This electric scooter packs a 350W motor which allows it to reach speeds of 18.6 MPH. While that might not seem super fast, it’ll feel quick quick once you’re riding. The built-in rechargeable battery features a range of up to 40 miles as well, which should be more than enough to get to and from work or the store on a single charge. Once you arrive at a destination, the G30P has a one-step folding mechanism to make it easy to carry as well. There’s also a LED display, Bluetooth phone pairing, cruise control, and multiple riding modes to choose from. Oh, and the onboard display lets you know how much charge is left and what your current speed is. Of course, not a single drop of gas or oil is required for this to function either, making it a green alternative to your normal commute.

Save $650 on Segway’s Ninebot electric GoKart PRO at its second-best price of $1,650

Amazon is now offering the Segway Ninebot Electric GoKart PRO for $1,650 shipped. Normally fetching $2,300, you’re looking at the second-best price to date following a $650 discount. This is $50 under our previous mention and delivering a notable chance to save for unwrapping some electric kart action come Christmas. Geared for riders weighing up to 220 pounds, the Ninebot GoKart PRO can handle zipping you or the kids around the block at up to 23 MPH top speeds with a 15-mile range. Its durable design can also be folded down for transportation, and pairs with other features like an electric brake, integrated headlights, and taillights. You can also detach the included Ninebot S MAX which powers the experience for a self-balancing scooter ride alongside the go kart fun.

On the more affordable front of putting some gokart action underneath the Christmas tree, Amazon is also marking down the Segway Ninebot S GoKart kit to $1,239.97. This package is down to one of the best prices ever from its usual $1,550 price tag and arrives with $310 in savings attached. It isn’t going to be quite as capable of a cruising machine as the Pro version above, but can handle hitting 10 MPH top speeds with a 13.7-mile range. This Ninebot S model is geared towards riders up to 220 pounds, and can also convert between the four- and two-wheeled configurations.

SWFT VOLT e-bike packs 32 miles of riding for $600

Best Buy is offering the SWFT VOLT E-Bike for $599.99 shipped. Down from a $900 list price, we’ve seen it fall to as low as $500 in the past, but that was way back in January. This is among the best pricing that we’ve seen since. Ready to let you get to and from work without using a single drop of gas or oil. It can travel at up to 19.8 MPH and the built-in battery can last for as long as 32 miles before it’s time to plug back in. The pedal assist mode on SWFT’s VOLT will let you balance between your legs and the built-in motor making the e-bike go forward without having to exert as much effort. This pedal assist function also means that when the terrain gets hilly, the bike can take the hard part out of biking, making it so you don’t have to change how hard you’re pedaling.

new green tesla deals

New Tesla deals

After checking out the Segway electric scooter on sale above, if you keep read, you’ll find a selection of new green deals that will make your Tesla experience better in multiple areas. From storage to keep recordings on to phone mounts, car chargers, and anything else we can find, it’ll be listed below. Each day we’ll do our best to find new and exciting deals and ways for you to save on fun accessories for your Tesla, making each trip unique. For more gift ideas and deals, check out the best Tesla shop. Keep reading on for e-bike, Greenworks, and other great deals.

New e-bike deals + electric scooter discounts

You can use an e-bike or electric scooter for fun, exercise, or even transportation to and from work or the coffee shop. We have several people here that will regularly commute to coffee shops or offices on their e-bike, as it cuts down on fossil fuel usage as well as allows them to enjoy some time outdoors on nice sunny days. Below, you’ll find a wide selection of new e-bike deals and electric scooter deal in all price ranges, so give it a look if that’s something you’d be interested in picking up. As always, the newest e-bike deal and electric scooter discounts and sales will be at the top, so shop quick as the discounts are bound to go away soon.

Additional New Green Deals

After shopping the Segway electric scooter on sale above, be sure to check out the other discounts we found today. These new green deals are wide-ranging from outdoor lawn equipment to anything else we find that could save you money in various ways, be that cutting gas and oil out of your life or just enjoying other amenities that energy-saving gear can bring. As always, the newest deals will be at the top, so shop quick as the discounts are bound to go away soon.

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Tesla (TSLA) gives $3,750 discount for Model 3/Y in the US this month

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Tesla (TSLA) gives ,750 discount for Model 3/Y in the US this month

Tesla (TSLA) is giving a $3,750 discount, which it is calling a “price adjustment”, for every Model 3 and Model Y vehicle delivered in the US in December.

The move appears to be to encourage people to take delivery right now rather than wait for the tax credit to take effect in 2023.

Yesterday, we reported that Tesla is seeing some level of cancellation in the US right now for two main reasons:

  • Long wait times are leading to some customers’ situations changing between the time they place their order and the actual delivery – resulting in cancellation. That’s quite frequent.
  • In a more special situation, Tesla is also dealing with some customers looking to push their deliveries into next year to take advantage of the upcoming new EV tax credit. As we previously reported, Tesla is not as accommodating as other automakers when it comes to the new EV tax credit, and it is holding its customers to their order contracts – again resulting in cancellations.

We also noted that while there are signs of demand issues leading to Tesla not matching vehicles to buyers at the end of the quarter, it shouldn’t be a massive problem unless we see Tesla reduce the price of its vehicles.

Today, Electrek learned from sources familiar with the matter that it is offering “a $3,750 credit” for every customer taking delivery of a Model 3 or Model Y vehicle in the US in December.

Tesla communicated to its sales staff that the offer is temporary only for customers taking delivery this month.

This amount happens to be half of the $7,500 tax credit that is going to go into effect next month. Some automakers anticipate their electric vehicles to only be eligible for half the tax credit due to battery material and assembly origin requirements.

Tesla appears to be encouraging people to take delivery this month rather than wait for the tax credit in order not to be sitting on a lot of unsold inventory at the end of the quarter.

This is an unusual move for Tesla. CEO Elon Musk has often stated that Tesla “doesn’t offer discounts” and that its policy is to have consistent and transparent pricing across all markets.

Electrek’s Take

Well, I said not to worry about demand until Tesla starts to offer discounts. Here it is.

But again, I wouldn’t worry too much about it since it’s clearly due to special circumstances with the tax credit coming into effect.

Everything points to demand coming back in a big way next month when the tax credit comes into effect.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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