Cryptocurrency mining rigs back in demand as Bitcoin recovers

By Khuong Nha   September 5, 2021 | 08:39 pm PT
Cryptocurrency mining rigs back in demand as Bitcoin recovers
A representation of the virtual cryptocurrency Bitcoin is seen in this picture illustration taken June 14, 2021. Photo by Reuters
After Bitcoin prices increased, cryptocurrency mining has returned with a vengeance, with many buying rigs to mine Bitcoin, Ethereum and others.

Quang Thuan, owner of a chain of shops in HCMC that sell cryptocurrency mining rigs, simplified computers made from graphics processing units or application-specific integrated circuits, said sales have tripled in early September from last month.

A few months ago the mining rig market was gloomy because prices of cryptocurrencies decreased, but Bitcoin moved back up to $50,000 in the second half of August, he said.

On July 20, the world's largest cryptocurrency fell as much as 5 percent to $29,300, its lowest since June 22, according to Reuters. Smaller cryptocurrencies such as ether and XRP , which tend to move in tandem with bitcoin, also lost around 5 percent.

Le Hung, administrator of a cryptocurrency mining group with nearly 80,000 members, said the mining market has heated up due to two key factors.

"First, Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies have simultaneously seen price hikes, and miners have started to make profits. Second, the pandemic (Covid-19) has prolonged, reducing investment options, and so more people have opted for coin mining."

Ngoc Van of the southern province of Dong Nai, who has established an Ethereum mine, said: "It cost me nearly VND3 billion ($130,400) to set up this mine. All rigs are new and stable. I hope I can recoup the investment in six months."

Miners can buy graphics processing units and assemble the rigs by themselves, or buy completely-built ones. Chinese mining rigs are also available in the Vietnamese market.

The owner of a shop in HCMC’s District 10 said: "On average, a rig is sold for VND30 million."

The best-sellers are equipment assembled with graphics processing units produced by AMD or Nvidia. Their prices are VND80-100 million now, some VND5 million higher than in mid-August, Van said.

According to rig suppliers, mining markets have gone up and down in line with cryptocurrency prices.

"Now people go to specialized shops to buy rigs for billions of dong," said Hoang Tuan, owner of a chain of computer shops in HCMC.

Data from Statista in February showed Vietnam had the second highest rate in terms of cryptocurrencyuse among 74 surveyed economies, driven by remittance payments.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not recognized as a legitimate means of payment in Vietnam. The State Bank of Vietnam has warned that owning, trading and using cryptocurrencies are risky and not protected by law.

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