BIT Mining Limited, the fifth-largest mining pool by hash rate in the world, announced Tuesday that it had successfully transported the first of three mining machine shipments from Sichuan, China to the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan.
The initial shipment contained over three hundred mining machines with a potential hash rate capacity of 18.2 PH/s (petahashes per second), which the company hopes to have fully operational by June 27, 2021. Larger second and third shipments containing a combined total of 2600 machines and a potential hash rate capacity of approximately 102.3 PH/s are expected to arrive in Kazakhstan by July 1, 2021, according to the announcement.
The move comes on the heels of the company's subsidiary, Ganzi Changhe Hydropower Consumption Service, receiving a notice from local authorities on June 19th that its power supply was being suspended later that same day. The subsidiary has since suspended its operations in Sichuan, which accounted for 3% of BIT Mining's total revenue last month.
While the power supply suspension may have accelerated relocation plans, BIT Mining has been focused on diversifying its operations outside of China since at least May, when the company announced investments in mining operations in both Kazakhstan and Texas.
BIT Mining's announcements come against a larger backdrop of regulatory action and crackdowns by the Chinese government against mining within the country, which still has the majority of the global hash rate.
These recent developments may be a net positive for Bitcoin, according to Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor. One of the long-standing criticisms of Bitcoin has been that its hash rate is relatively centralized within the borders of an authoritarian nation. There is evidence that the crackdowns are redistributing hash power outside of China and into a wider variety of nations and regions.