China has been on a spree for crackdown on cryptocurrency “mining” and it has now extended to the southwest province of Sichuan.
Considering that crypto mining is seen as a big business in China, seen as more than half of global bitcoin production. But the State Council, China’s cabinet, last month came down hard on bitcoin mining and trading.
Other mining regions, such as Inner Mongolia, have made cryptocurrency mining`s use of electricity generated from highly polluting sources such as coal in orders targeting the industry.
Sichuan is a place where miners mostly use hydropower to run the specially designed computer equipment used in verifying bitcoin transactions, which basically hints the crackdown is more broadly based.
The Sichuan Provincial Development and Reform Commission, and the Sichuan Energy Bureau issued a joint notice demanding the closure of 26 suspected cryptocurrency mining projects by Sunday.
Sichuan is considered China’s second-biggest bitcoin mining province, as per the data compiled by the University of Cambridge.
The notice further orders state electricity companies in Sichuan to conduct various inspections and make corrections, reporting their results. They are going to immediately stop supplying electricity to crypto mining projects they have detected.
The authorities further asked local governments in Sichuan to start combing for crypto mining projects and shut them down. It banned new projects.
Other regional mining centers including Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Yunnan have ordered crackdowns on bitcoin mining.
This notice hints at the fact that Beijing`s displeasure with cryptocurrency mining extends beyond cases where it uses electricity generated by burning coal.
“Renewable power does not help,” said Winston Ma, NYU Law School adjunct professor and author of the book “the Digital War”.
“The four largest mining regions – Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Yunnan and Sichuan – have implemented similar crackdown measures, even though mining in the latter two are mostly based on hydropower, whereas the first two are on coal,” Ma told.