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The Possible Xinjiang Coal Link in Tesla’s Bitcoin Binge

  • Almost a quarter of Bitcoin is produced in China’s Xinjiang
  • Controversial region offers cheap power from plentiful coal

Photographer: Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

There’s a pretty good chance that any new Bitcoin generated after the cryptocurrency’s Elon Musk-aided surge toward $50,000 will be sourced using cheap coal power in China’s Xinjiang.

The region that’s become notorious in recent years for complaints about abuse of Uyghur Muslim minorities is also a hub for the production of Bitcoin. Nearly two-thirds of global output took place in China as of April 2020, according to University of Cambridge researchers, and about one-third of that occurred in Xinjiang.