How the U.S. benefits when China turns its back on Bitcoin

How the U.S. benefits when China turns its back on Bitcoin

In the farmland on the outskirts of Kearney, Nebraska, there's a field full of modified 40-foot shipping containers lined up in rows.

It's off the main road and easy to miss; there are no signs and no big buildings.

But as you approach, you notice one thing: it makes a lot of noise.

Each container is lined with huge industrial fans, and filled with specialized computers. Inside, it's windy, and humming at about 85 decibels.

"Our technicians always have some sort of hearing protection when they enter," says Dave Perrill

CEO and cofounder of Compute North, which runs the facility.

Welcome to one of America's biggest data centers for cryptocurrency mining.

Here, thousands of computers are dedicated to solving a set of complex math problems that verify blockchain transactions

 in doing so, create bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. In industry parlance, it's called mining.

Until the middle of last year, most cryptocurrency mining like this took place in China, where the government has had an on-again

off-again relationship with cryptocurrencies. Last summer, it pulled the plug.

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"We've certainly heard this news more than once, that China was banning crypto.

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