Mining (monetary style)

bitcoin 4
These racks house hundreds of ASIC chips used to mine bitcoins.

In an industrial backwater near Hong Kong's massive port, one of Asia's largest Bitcoin mines is quietly turning raw computing power into digital currency.

Located about eight miles from the city's finance hub, the entire facility is no larger than a two-bedroom apartment. Aside from a small bathroom, the mine offers no creature comforts.

It is dominated by vertical racks that house hundreds of ASIC chips. Shorthand for application-specific integrated circuits, these chips are custom-built to mine bitcoins. You might be wondering what a Bitcoin mine does, exactly. Click ahead!

First published December 17, 2013: 4:46 AM ET

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