Bitcoin mining is not a pretty business. It requires lots of specialized servers that are essentially unusable for normal computing and lots of cooling. But when you bring thousands of miners together in the same room, things really get ugly.
Motherboard has some fascinating footage of a bitcoin mine in Liaoning Province, China. The mine, set up in an unused factory, is a snakes’ nest of wires and high-powered fans, a sort of high-tech server farm that is so resource-intensive that it has to be optimized to a fault.
This server farm manages 3 percent of the total blockchain. That, in itself, is amazing: so many resources thrown at a problem so insurmountable that thousands of machines running in unison only manage to handle a fraction of the transactions.