The outbreak of the Coronavirus is having a significant effect on the Chinese economy. The
mining market has not gone untouched either. Since the majority of Bitcoin's hash
rate originates from China, the growth of the hash rate has been reduced. For some Chinese
players, it has resulted in a loss of market share, while other players, less affected by the
virus, have a chance to catch up now.
Since 2017, the market has been mainly dominated by a Chinese mining company called
Bitmain. However, it now seems that this position is slowly shifting to MicroBT, also based
in China. Over the course of 2019, MicroBT sold around 600.000 WhatsMiner M20's, this
unit generates 60 terahashes per second. According to CoinDesk, MicroBT was responsible
for half of Bitcoin's hash rate growth in 2019. To put this in perspective, this accounts to
around 30% of the current total mining power of Bitcoin.
While Bitmain still holds a comfortable 65% of the mining
market, the company has had its
setbacks the past year. A cut of 50% in its employee base and the firing of co-founder Micree
Ketua Zhan are among them. Now in 2020, Bitmain and MicroBT are going head to
head, Bitmain with its AntMiner S19 and MicroBT with their WhatsMiner M30. In 2019, the
challenger was able to outperform Bitmain in terms of manufacturing and shipping. It will be
interesting to see which of the two will cope best with the outbreak of the Coronavirus.