Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has taken decisive steps to bring illegal cryptocurrency mining to a halt.
Xinjiang, an autonomous territory in northwest China, is set to shutter all illegal crypto mining operations by the end of August, according to a notice by the region’s Economic and Information Technology Commission that leaked over the weekend.
The notice requires that local power generating companies in Xinjiang identify and report mining companies for illegal use of electricity by August 30, 2018. It defines illegal miners as unauthorized enterprises that fail to go through the formalities of industrial and commercial registration, tax registration, social security and other insurances in accordance with national laws and regulations. Illegal miners are also those that have not signed a contract with local power utilities, thus using electricity on a non-regulated basis.
Not a surprise
The coal-abundant region of Xinjiang attracts miners with cheap power. It has a total installed power generating capacity of 82.2 GW, supplying electricity to some 250 million people. Renewable sources account for about one third of the installed capacity.
Moreover, China accounts for more than two-thirds of the world’s processing power dedicated to cryptocurrency mining and is also home to some of the major producers of mining hardware, like Bitmain, which also operate large mining pools.
However, at the beginning of the year, it became clear that after banning cryptocurrency trading and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), China is also moving towards an “orderly exit” from coin mining. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has been worried about the high energy consumption by Bitcoin mining companies.
However, there have been no reports yet about other local governments taking concrete measures towards shuttering crypto mining operations.