Cryptocurrency mining can be accomplished on a large scale, using multiple mining rigs and machines - these operations are known as cryptocurrency mining farms.
Cryptocurrency mining is an important backbone for many different coins. For Bitcoin, as an example, mining not only brings new coins into circulation but also helps secure the network. Mining also helps control inflation and incentivises people to use the Bitcoin blockchain.
In order to be effective in cryptocurrency mining, people often try to maximize how much mining they do by having multiple mining machines. These mining rigs in combination form mining farms and these farms are often operated by one company or operation.
A typical mining farm will usually house hundreds of multiple mining rigs - most notably ASIC machines. These machines will be constantly trying to solve algorithm equations to unlock new blocks and get rewarded in the chosen cryptocurrency.
These farms require a large amount of energy and generate a lot of heat, and for this reason, they are often set up in isolated areas, and usually in areas with cheap and sometimes renewable energy sources.
Coins like Bitcoin have been criticised for their power usage, and when huge mining farms are set up, they can have a large impact on the environment, but because the profitability is increased when power costs are low - many farms turn to greener, cheaper, renewable energy sources.
Mining farms are also sometimes criticised as the largest ones can have an impact on the decentralization of cryptocurrencies, especially smaller capped coins. If a mining farm, or operation, has enough machines, and thus provides enough hash power to the network, they can control certain aspects of the coin's operation. Cryptocurrencies are supposed to be decentralized and distributed, but if the mining of a coin is operated from one source, this defeats the object.
Mining farms are also extremely expensive to set up as the startup costs of the hardware alone are huge. The running costs can also be high and the danger is that the profit margins always fluctuate. It depends on the cost of electricity, as well as the price of the coin being mined. More than that, the difficulty of mining can fluctuate as can other factors such as weather and resources.