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In depth: the fall of China's last bitcoin mining haven

Government crackdown dooms nation's lucrative but energy-intensive sector

An ethnic Tibetan woman in China's Sichuan Province carries components of cryptocurrency mining machines that were recently shut down. (Photo by Ding Gang, Caixin)

For the past year and a half, the loud whirring of tens of thousands of high-power computers filled a cavernous warehouse round-the-clock, contrasting sharply with the quiet forests of the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

This computational arsenal belonged to a crypto mining farm, a facility crammed with specialized computers dedicated to solving complex math problems that keep the network running, and earning new bitcoin along the way.

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