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What kind of OEM Bitcoin mining hardware can I import?
With that said, there are plenty of qualified bitcoin mining hardware manufacturers in China. Virtually all of these are based in China’s southern Guangdong province, and assemble components from subcontractors.
For example, you can find suppliers for the following products on Alibaba.com and Globalsources.com:
ASIC Bitcoin Miners
USB Dongle Miners
Fans & Cooling Systems
How do I find the right supplier for Crypto Mining Hardware?
The main problem you will face when sourcing crypto mining hardware suppliers, is filtering out the vast number of low end suppliers.
I include all non-value adding agents, traders and wholesalers in this group of suppliers.
With so many opportunists jumping into this industry, without being qualified to assemble the hardware, this is a serious challenge.
You should work with a manufacturer that is specialized in Bitcoin mining hardware, or at least a supplier that has previously assembled other types of computers
This could, for example, include Android TV boxes, PCs or tablet computers.
You can make this assessment based on their product listings on Alibaba.com or Globalsources.com.
However, it doesn’t stop there, as I will explain below.
a. Sourcing on Alibaba.com
Alibaba.com is the largest supplier directory, not only in China, but the entire world.
If you want to meet bitcoin mining hardware suppliers face to face, and check out samples on site, then these are the trade shows for you:
HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair (HK)
Global Sources Consumer Electronics Show (HK)
Canton Fair Phase 1 (Guangzhou)
You should check the supplier list for each of these trade shows, before you book your tickets. As mentioned, these trade shows are for all types of electronics, and not exclusively focused on bitcoin mining hardware.
At best, a small fraction of the attending suppliers is in that space.
Should I expect a warranty?
Some mining hardware suppliers, and component manufacturers, claim to offer a warranty. Sometimes for a few months, up to a year.
Keep in mind that what most of these suppliers really mean with a ‘warranty’, is sending a few spare parts with the shipment – parts that you will end up paying for.
And, provide free replacement parts, whenever needed.
In reality, however, there are a number of issues you should be aware of:
a. Few, if any, suppliers offer any real support. If you find quality issues, you will be on your own.
b. Many suppliers make the warranty impossible to claim, by forcing their customers to provide extensive ‘evidence’ or even returning defective units for troubleshooting in the factory. And, of course, you pay for the air freight back to China.
c. If they will eventually agree to offer replacement parts, you are expected to pay for the air freight charges. This can sometimes be more costly than buying replacement parts locally. At least if the shipment only contains a few units.
d. Your supplier may not even exist in a year. What will happen to this market if the Bitcoin price goes back to 2014 levels? And, not to forget, many suppliers in this industry are very small companies. Many of them will not be able to operate for more than a few months.
So, am I saying that you should not even bothering buying hardware from China?
No, not at all.
What I’m saying here is that you should not assume that you can fall back on a warranty, that is not really a warranty – but the promise of buying new replacement parts.
Applicable product regulations and labeling requirements
The world of cryptocurrencies is exciting. Everyone is talking about it. Yet, Bitcoin mining hardware is subject to the very same product regulations and safety standards as all other electronic products.
As an Importer, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your product is fully compliant with all applicable regulations.
Be it a cooling system, power supply or USB mining dongle.
The crypto mining hardware space is like the wild west. Most small suppliers don’t have a clue what regulations apply to mining hardware in overseas markets.
Nor do they care.
And that’s alright. It’s your job. Yet, many importers know even less than their suppliers.
Below follows an overview of the regulations that apply to mining hardware in the European Union and the United States.
a. European Union
All electronics products sold in the European Union are subject to various electronic product directives. Some regulate safety aspects, while other regulate wireless communication or heavy metals used in components.
Notice that a large number of suppliers cannot manufacture products that comply with EU standards and regulations. Hence, you should request test reports before you place an order.
Keep in mind that you are the one taking the risks, when importing electronics into the EU.
b. United States
Electronics regulations in the United States are very different from those in Europe. On a federal level, electronics regulations mainly concern wireless communication and electromagnetic interference.
You must also ensure that the power supplies, and other components, are safe for the user. You can choose to comply with, for example, UL standards – which are not mandatory, but still highly recommended.
Keep in mind that you are responsible for all imported products, and despite the hype, crypto mining hardware doesn’t get a pass from the CPSC, FCC or other regulators.
Electronics is complicated, and you will need to verify that the hardware is compliant.
c. Other Countries
Based in Australia, Canada, New Zealand or Singapore? Then you must ensure compliance with local EMC and electrical safety regulations.
Many are based on either US or EU standards, but you must still contact your local authorities to confirm the exact requirements.
Keep in mind that these regulations are not applicable specifically to cryptocurrency mining hardware, but all sorts of electronics.
In other words, don’t even bother asking them what regulations apply to bitcoin miners, as they probably will not have a clue what you’re talking about.
Co-founder of Asiaimportal (HK) Limited and based in Hong Kong. He has been quoted in and contributed to Bloomberg, SCMP, Alibaba Insights, Globalsources.com, China Chief Executive, Quartz Magazine and more.
Hey there, I’m Fredrik!
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