Gamers Delight As Huge Crypto Mining Server Farm Bursts Into Flames

firefighters examine burned crypto mining servers
Our headline here may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, but regardless, a data center in Chiang Mai, Thailand burst into flames the morning of December 3, 2021. The fire, which reportedly caused around 2 million baht ($60,000 USD) of damage likely has a few gamers chuckling at the irony. This data center was, in all probability, really just a large cryptocurrency mining server farm that could have enslaved precious GPUs that gamers simply can't their hands on these days. 

All told, the fire destroyed 72 servers. It’s not clear if that was the total number of computers in the building, or just the ones destroyed by the fire outbreak. Nor is it clear that the servers in the shot above are actually mining with GPUs, versus ASIC-based solutions. Regardless, the Mae Ping Police, investigating the fire, stated in its report “that the office was mining cryptocurrencies”.

Fire truck outside a fire-damaged building that authorities believe was a cryptocurrency mining farm
Fire truck outside a fire-damaged building that authorities believe was a cryptocurrency mining farm.

Even though the report doesn’t detail what equipment was in use at the server farm, it’s a fairly safe bet it included at least some high-end graphics cards. Crypto mining, an extremely power- and processing-intensive proposition, typically depends on powerful GPUs, though custom ASIC solutions are also popular for some coin types.

For example, the recently refreshed GeForce RTX 2060, with 12GB of memory, is apparently a terrific GPU for crypto mining. It crushes through mining operations with a hash rate of 31.65 MH/s, significantly better than the pricier RTX 3060.

That’s where the gamers come in, chuckling at the misfortune. Gaming enthusiasts have struggled recently to buy new graphics cards at normal retail prices. The ongoing international chip shortage has been bad enough, but crypto miners make it even worse by snapping up high-end graphics cards as quick as they can.

While the damage to the three-story building is substantial, authorities reported it was unoccupied at the time. They did not report any injuries or deaths, so the loss should be purely financial. Some PC gamers disgruntled enough at the impact crypto miners have had on securing graphics cards probably find it amusing that this mining farm went up in smoke.