Eric Mu is chief marketing officer at HaoBTC, a bitcoin wallet service. Here he speaks about life at the company’s bitcoin mine in the Tibetan mountains.
Living three months in a place where you have to travel 10km to reach the closest store might be inconceivable for a modern city dweller. For me however, being face-to-face with nature, plus the chance to witness some sort of modern alchemy, holds irresistible appeal.
When the chance came, I didn’t hesitate. A four-hour flight and eight-hour drive later, long after I lost count of the tunnels and bridges I passed, I arrived in HaoBTC’s multi-petahash bitcoin farm, nestled in the mountains.
The view wouldn’t look out of place in a James Bond movie. The only link to the outside world is a road 150 meters away. When a mild earthquake struck the region last year, this link was severed and the workers of the nearby power station ate potatoes for weeks before deliverance arrived.
The native population is Tibetan, and Yi villagers live in relatively primitive conditions by the prevailing standard. When the government offered millions of yuan each to evict