Internet café owners in China are turning their businesses into crypto mining centers to offset losses incurred because of social distancing measures enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to local media outlet Sina, data from complier Tianyan Check showed almost 13,000 internet cafes shut their doors last year when the pandemic started hitting China badly. These businesses operate for 24 hours and are primarily created for PC gamers, but not anymore.
From gaming to crypto mining
One owner from Nantong, Jiangsu, said his 200 gaming computers are now running 24 hours a day mining tokens, bringing in $6,210 worth of crypto per month in profit. The businessman also said since September, the mining operation earned him over $31,000. He added most internet cafes in Nantong also turned to cryptocurrency mining because of the global health crisis.
Meanwhile, in Zunyi, Guizhou Province, an owner of another internet café had a “profitable pandemic” that he decided to purchase a new gaming room which was later converted into a crypto mining suite. According to the owner, he now has three internet cafés, two of which are dedicated entirely to cryptocurrency mining. This had led to an income of $7,800 per month.
Defending decisions, clinging for hope
In the face of issues that plague the cryptocurrency mining industry, internet café owners in China defended their decision to turn their businesses into mining centers for digital tokens. They said unless they are over 80% full day and night long, they can’t have enough profit to sustain their business, and the current pandemic measures meant they could only be half full at most.
Despite this development, some owners cling to the hope of returning to the days when their rooms are filled with gamers instead of having their computers silently mining cryptocurrencies. One of them even said having customers “generate more revenue than mining” because they buy snacks and other goods from their counters.
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