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10 May, 2020 - 22:09 By Kate Sweeney

Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance launches Bitcoin mining map

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, based at Cambridge Judge Business School, has launched a new interactive Bitcoin mining map. 

It visualises the average monthly share of Bitcoin’s hashrate (the speed at which computations are being performed by miners across the whole network) by country for the first time, as well as providing an exclusive visualisation of China’s hashrate distribution at the provincial level. 

The website draws on aggregate geo-location data, supplied directly by three mining pools – BTC.com, Poolin and ViaBTC. This is the first time that this data has been made available, providing increased transparency and a reliable picture of the industry for investors, policymakers, other decision-makers, academic researchers and the general public.

The timing of the map comes just before the next Bitcoin halving, expected on May 11, at which time block rewards are divided by two.

“It is our hope that the unique interactive graphs with the map will allow for collaborative discovery of how the Bitcoin mining industry is evolving,” says Dr Robert Wardrop, Director and Co-Founder of the CCAF. “This project is aligned with the CCAF mission to bring data and insights to fill knowledge gaps and to support evidence-based decision-making.”

This new capability is a further development of the mining research project launched by the CCAF last July, with the release of the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI), which provides a real-time estimate of the electricity consumed by the Bitcoin network. 

Apolline Blandin, Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Lead at the CCAF said: “We are keen to partner with additional mining pools to improve the accuracy and reliability of the mining map in subsequent iterations. We also plan to add further granularity in the future to better represent regions with significant hashing activities.”

The CCAF is currently developing an interactive dashboard, which will showcase data on the alternative finance industry collected by the Centre, including the mining map, along other data visualisations. The Bitcoin mining map is freely accessible from the CBECI website maintained by the CCAF.

The data that informs the map is qualified as a representative sample as the three mining pools involved currently collectively represent approximately 37 per cent of Bitcoin total hashrate over the examined period (September 2019 to April 2020). The data is then aggregated by CCAF and used to extrapolate the global hash rate distribution.

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