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With rising unemployment and rampant economic uncertainty, more and more Brazilians are looking for alternative sources of income from cryptocurrency mining after the Covid crisis. GPU rigs are found even in slums, because relatively small investments can yield higher returns than the average Brazilian salary.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to Brazil, and the country is one of the hardest-hit areas, with more than 450,000 deaths due to Covid-19. The National Bureau of Statistics announced earlier this year that in 2020, South America’s largest economy has shrunk by more than 4%, resulting in a record high unemployment rate in the past decade-14.3 million citizens are unemployed.
Low or no pay, coupled with a bleak economic outlook, forced Brazilians to find new ways to earn a living. According to the latest report from Portal do Bitcoin, more and more people in the country are turning to crypto mining as an alternative source of income. Government data showing the surge in hardware imports and power consumption confirms this trend.
Profitability varies by size, but a 34-year-old student from Piumhi helped the crypto news media understand the economics of household mining. Expedito Felipe started to mint Ether (ETH) in January to “increase and diversify” his income, investing 47,000 reais (approximately $9,000) in equipment. His monthly income is 3,000 reais to 5,000 reais (approximately US$600 to US$900), and his electricity expenditure is only around US$100.
Without exact figures, it is difficult to accurately estimate the true scale of Brazilian household mining activities, but indirect indicators indicate that it is booming. Several Facebook groups with a large number of memberships are disseminating information about technology, and Youtube videos related to this topic have accumulated hundreds of thousands of views. According to some social media reports, even in Favilas, Brazil’s poorest community, rigs are mining.
José Guilherme Silva Vieira, professor of economics at the Federal University of Paraguay, said that socio-economic issues such as unemployment, lack of opportunities and the devaluation of the Brazilian real can partly explain the prosperity of the cryptocurrency mining industry. . Return and cost are the factors that really arouse public interest. When doing Bitcoin to Portal, he elaborated:
The cost is defined by the equipment used and the expense. Mining consumes a lot of electricity. However, in the past 12 months, the overvaluation of cryptocurrencies has caused the return of this activity to drop sharply.
Graphics cards are an indispensable hardware element for home manning rigs, and Brazil’s imports have surged this year. According to data compiled by the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services, Brazilian companies imported GPUs at a price of 106 million reais (over 20 million US dollars) in the first quarter alone, a four-fold increase over the same period in 2020.
Electricity consumption in some areas has also surged. The government has not issued an official statement linking the increased electricity consumption to cryptocurrency mining. However, Enel Distribuição São Paulo (Enel Distribuição São Paulo) in São Paulo, one of Brazil’s largest power distribution companies, has uncovered 69,000 grid thefts in 24 cities served by utilities in 2020 alone. This is an increase of nearly 20% over the previous year.
Is home cryptocurrency mining profitable in your country? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comments section below.
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