Massive fire disrupts Chinese BTC mining operation

The BTC blockchain experienced some anomalies on September 30, and a massive disruption to a Chinese mining farm might have played a role. Early reports indicate an Innosilicon mining farm burst into flame, causing them to lose millions in hardware and possibly throwing the whole BTC network into disarray.

The fire was first reported on Twitter by user @OGTBC, and later picked up by Dovey Won who found a video of the fire:

As Wan notes, $10 million worth of hardware may have been lost in the blaze, which occurred at an undisclosed location in China. That would be a huge blow to the mining firm if true, as they had also announced the same day a delay to their next shipment of mining hardware to external customers.

Although not confirmed to be related, at roughly the same time, strange things were happening on the BTC chain. Normally, an average time in between new blocks is 10 minutes. But as this fire was ranging, the next new block didn’t appear for approximately two hours, a remarkable event that would land solidly in the top dozen longest gaps between blocks.

Ethereum World News noted that this caused a drop from 91 exahashes to 90, but could have been significant enough to have a factor on the block time. At the same time though, the difficulty of mining a new block continues to increase.

CoinGeek reached out to Ilya Bruman, CEO of Minery, to ask for comment on the fire. “We offer sincere condolences and sympathy to our Chinese colleagues. It can happen to anyone,” Bruman began. “I don’t think there is any connection between this fire and drop of hashrate.”

Bruman went on to explain the current trend in BTC hashrates:

Hashrate started to drop from 108 EH immediately after the price of BTC dropped down to 8000 USD. If the measures of fire are correct, then I assume that burnt equipment produced the hashrate between 0,5 EH and 1 EH. Which is not affecting the network dramatically.

When asked how a mining operation typically guards against this type of calamity, Bruman noted, “First of all we have fire extinguishing systems on all of our sites. Second, we secure our sites and our client’s equipment.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with quotes from Ilya Bruman, CEO of Minery