The past few years have been volatile for the crypto market, which has fluctuated by billions of dollars. Among other factors, analysts have attributed this price variation to Elon Musk, CEO of electric car company Tesla. Despite being a vocal supporter of crypto for years, Musk made a brief U-turn when the media revealed how much energy Bitcoin mines need to run in late 2021. Many cryptocurrencies crashed on the back of Tesla's decision to stop accepting Bitcoin payments – but not all. Assets such as Ether and Ada maintained their value because they rely on a proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol. This technology is much less energy-intensive than Bitcoin's proof-of-work (PoW) protocol, as miners don't need to carry out computational equations.
So which countries are driving the cryptocurrency revolution? Kazakhstan is the world's second-largest miner of cryptocurrency, thanks in part to an enormous mine consisting of 50,000 computers that stands in the desert outside Ekibastuz. China has historically been the most prolific cryptocurrency miner. In 2021, five of the biggest Bitcoin mining pools were all based in the People's Republic, but when crypto transactions were banned in the nation last year, its mining rate slowed significantly, sparking a phenomenon now known as "the great mining migration." This saw Bitcoin miners leave China in their droves, relocating to more crypto-friendly locations such as Texas.
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