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Animation: Visualizing the ICO Explosion

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Animation: Visualizing the ICO Explosion

In our chart highlighting Bitcoin’s epic journey to $10,000, we also noted that 2017 was a landmark year for the Initial Coin Offering (ICO), a method used to raise initial funds for development and marketing of new cryptocurrencies or tokens.

ICOs have become so popular that well over 90% of total funds raised through this mechanism came from this year alone.

While it’s hard to put this sudden ICO explosion in context, we think today’s animation does the phenomenon sufficient justice. Coming from Max Galka at Elementus.io, today’s animation shows a timeline of ICOs and funds raised since early 2014.

In an added dimension, each ICO is also classified based on geographic region. The colorful fireworks that happen throughout 2017 help to make it clear that we are indeed living in the year of the ICO.

Year of the ICO

Despite bans in China and South Korea, there is no shortage of fervor for new cryptocurrencies or tokens.

ICOs by month

In their short history, there have been three ICOs that raised over $200 million – and six more that surpassed the $100 million mark.

Here is a breakdown of the nine biggest ICOs so far. Note that eight of them took place in 2017:

NameLocationICO ProceedsICO Year
FilecoinNorth America$257 million2017
TezosEurope$236 million2017
EOSNorth America$200 million2017
ParagonNorth America$183 million2017
The DAOStateless/Unknown$168 million2016
BancorMiddle East$153 million2017
PolkadotEurope$121 million2017
QASHAsia$112 million2017
StatusEurope$109 million2017

It’s worth mentioning that with the price for bitcoins and ether both rising fast, that these ICOs have actually raised even more capital than initially shown. That’s because the dollar amounts above are based on the value of bitcoins and ether at the time of the raise.

With billions in capital going into new projects, investors and speculators are anxiously waiting to see which coin or token will be the next Ethereum to take the market by storm.

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Bitcoin

Top 10 Bitcoin Mining Countries & Their Renewable Electricity Mix

Bitcoin miners worldwide use about 348 TWh of electricity per year, as much as some countries, but just where does all that power come from?

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Teaser to an infographic showing the top 10 countries for Bitcoin mining, led by the U.S. Kazakhstan, and China, and their renewable electricity mix. Only China, Canada, Germany, and Ireland had renewable mixes above the global average of 30%.

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The following content is sponsored by HIVE Digital Technologies

Top 10 Bitcoin Mining Countries & Their Renewable Electricity Mix

Bitcoin miners use an estimated 348 terawatt hours of electricity per year, and with the world increasingly moving to renewables, some are asking the question: just where does Bitcoin get its electricity?

To answer that question, we partnered with HIVE Digital to visualize data from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and Ember, a climate-oriented energy think tank, to look at the Bitcoin network’s electricity mix. 

This is part one in our How Green is Bitcoin? series, which examines the cryptocurrency’s sustainability.  

The World According to Bitcoin

The top 10 countries for Bitcoin mining represent 93.8% of the entire network by hashrate—a measure of computational power—with the U.S., China, and Kazakhstan rounding out the top three. Together these three countries hosted nearly three-quarters of the network at the end of 2021. 

CountryHashrate (%)Renewable (%)
U.S.37.8%22.5%
China21.1%30.2%
Kazakhstan13.2%11.3%
Canada6.5%69.7%
Russia4.7%18.5%
Germany3.1%43.0%
Malaysia2.5%19.1%
Ireland2.0%38.6%
Singapore2.0%2.4%
Thailand1.0%15.5%
Rest of the World6.3%30.1%

Source: Hashrate (%): Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance as of December 2021; Renewable (%) Ember, as of 2022.

China used to be the top spot for Bitcoin mining, up to 75% of global capacity, but a crackdown in the summer of 2021 saw their share drop to nil in just a couple months. Many miners relocated to nearby Kazakhstan, attracted by cheap electricity, loose regulations, and a ‘stable’ political climate, while others opted for the United States. A sizable covert mining scene has also emerged in China, now that the dust has settled.

At the bottom of the top 10 are Ireland, Singapore, and Thailand, which together host 4.9% of the network. Ireland’s reported share—and this applies to sixth-place Germany, as well—is thought to be a significant overstatement caused by miners in other countries masking their true locations.

The Role of Renewables

On a national basis, the U.S., China, and Kazakhstan each had renewable shares of 22.5%, 30.2%, and 11.3% respectively. For context, renewables made up 30% of the world’s electricity generation in 2022 (not including nuclear). 

Kazakhstan’s dismal renewable share is due to their heavy reliance on coal (60%), which is also a major export of the central Asian country. At the same time, coal contributes a similar amount of the electricity in China (61%), but their overall renewable share is higher because of their breakneck expansion of wind and solar power.

Wagons Ho?

Just where a Bitcoin miner sets up their rig is important, because unlike many other industries with factories or big head offices, they are mobile (Google ‘Bitcoin mining shipping containers’ if you need convincing).

Where they choose to put out their shingle is based on things like the regulatory regime, price of electricity, and because Bitcoin rigs generate a lot of heat, the average outdoor temperature. On this last point, here is how the top 10 breaks down by mean annual temperature:

Increasingly, though, with climate change driving the push to renewables, many Bitcoin miners are looking more closely at where their electricity is coming from. This could be why Canada—with its embarrassment of hydroelectric riches—has crept up the ranking from less than one percent of the network in 2019, to six-and-a-half percent at the end of 2021. 

But considering that top renewable countries such as Iceland, Paraguay, and Norway together only hosted just over one percent of the global network, there’s still a lot more room left for growth.

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Learn more about how Bitcoin miner and data center operator HIVE Digital is using clean, renewable energy at its facilities in Canada, Sweden, and Iceland.

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