Chinese internet cafe owners are turning their businesses into crypto mining centers as social distancing measures continue to bite in the Middle Kingdom.
According to The Time Weekly, via Sina, a huge number of the 24-hour internet cafes, created primarily for PC gamers, closed down in 2020 – when the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to shut their doors. Almost 13,000 internet cafes may have shut as a result last year, the media outlet claimed, quoting statistics from the data compiler Tianyan Check.
A cafe owner in Nantong, Jiangsu, claimed that his bank of 200 gaming computers were now mining tokens, and were now working 24 hours a day, earning him over USD 6,210 worth of crypto a month. The man stated that he had made over USD 31,000 from mining since September – and added that the owners of “most internet cafes in Nantong” had also turned to mining during the pandemic.
Another cafe owner in Zunyi, Guizhou Province, has had such a profitable pandemic that he has boosted the size of his fledgling empire by buying a new gaming room that he has converted into a mining suite. The man stated that he now owns three internet cafes, two of which are now devoted entirely to mining crypto – helping him rake in almost USD 7,800 a month.
Chinese media reports have claimed that in nearby South Korea, some 20% of the country’s PC bang (PC gaming rooms) are now mining crypto – a phenomenon also reported on by Cryptonews.com.
Internet cafe owners in China defended their decision to push ahead with crypto mining operations, telling The Time Weekly that they could not hope to turn a profit unless they were over 80% full all day (and night) long. The pandemic means that now they can only ever realistically hope to be half full.
Regardless, some owners claimed that they hoped to return to the days when their cafes were full of gamers instead of computers silently mining crypto. One stated that “customers will still generate more revenue than mining revenue, due to the fact that they often buy snacks food and other goods from our counters.”
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