Vice has released a report that brings viewers inside a massive Chinese Bitcoin mining operation. Their method for releasing it is a little unusual: SnapChat.
Vice Media has been releasing reports on SnapChat as part of SnapChat’s discovery initiative. Desiring to be known for more than sexting and security breaches, SnapChat has developed partnerships with several media companies including Vice.
The report is about nine minutes long and focuses on the challenges of running a Bitcoin mine and the lives of the miners. For the uneducated, the video does include a basic overview of how bitcoin mining works and it does a fairly decent job of getting the basic concept out there. Miningpool.co.uk readers likely won’t learn anything new however.
The company Vice follows puts out about 3 % of the total bitcoin network, according to the video. At their peak, each of their six facilities were capable of mining 100 BTC per day. At the current difficulty level, they say each facility can make 20 – 30 BTC a day.
If that sounds great to you, consider that they do have an US $80,000 electricity bill to deal with as well as employee salaries. Employees are required to be on site 24 hours a day and sleep at the facility while on duty. The lives of a Chinese Bitcoin miner doesn’t seem all that bad, the employee implies he spends most of his time playing video games, but it does seem mundane as well. The mine owners say that the employees are paid more than the average for comparable work, but doesn’t get into specifics.
Still, 20BTC a day is a hefty amount to bring in, especially if all six facilities are bringing in that much simultaneously. Even at low end prices and assuming the lower end of their estimated amount created, they are still bringing in roughly US$ 24,500 a day before expenses.
It is a fascinating look inside the cutting edge of Bitcoin mining, and good journalism as usual by Vice. You can watch the report for the next 24 hours by downloading SnapChat and going to the Discovery section and clicking on Vice’s channel. After 24 hours, the report will disappear from the app and will eventually make its way to other platforms, according to Bloomberg.
Vice is known for its fair and hard hitting reports. If this story is an indication of increased interest in the technology, that could only be a good thing.