SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Authorities in northwest China’s Qinghai province and a district in neighboring Xinjiang ordered cryptocurrency mining projects shut down this week, as local governments followed up on Beijing’s call to crack down on the industry.
China accounts for more than half of global bitcoin production, but some miners have been considering moving elsewhere after the State Council, China’s cabinet, promised to clamp down on bitcoin mining and trading this month. past.
“We are at a turning point for the mining industry here in Asia,” said Lei Tong, Managing Director of Financial Services at Babel Finance, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency lender and asset manager.
“Many miners are now seriously reassessing their future operating plans, as the current regulatory environment is unfavorable for their growth and the scale of their business.”
The Qinghai office of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Wednesday ordered a ban on new crypto mining projects in the province and ordered existing ones to close, according to a notice seen by Reuters and confirmed by local officials.
Crypto miners who set up projects that claim to be running large volumes of data and supercomputing centers will be punished, and companies are prohibited from providing sites or power supplies to mining activities.
The Xinjiang Changji Hui Prefecture Development and Reform Commission also issued a notice on Wednesday, seen by Reuters and confirmed with officials, ordering a cleanup of the sector.
Crypto mining projects in Xinjiang’s Zhundong National Economic-Technological Development Park have been ordered to close.
Xinjiang is the largest bitcoin mining center in China, accounting for about a third of the total computing power. Qinghai ranks ninth, according to data compiled by the University of Cambridge.
China is stepping up its crackdown on cryptocurrencies after a global bull run in bitcoin prices reignited local speculation.
In addition to the State Council measure, three industry bodies have banned cryptocurrency-related payment and financial services, a factor behind a global sell-off that briefly wiped $ 1 trillion from cryptocurrency market capitalization.
Other local governments have already responded. Inner Mongolia, China’s third-largest mining center, has published draft rules to eradicate the business, and the Sichuan authorities, second, have announced an investigation into the sector.
“The search for new destinations is really happening on a global scale, with North America and Europe among the most sought after locations, followed by countries in Central Asia and the Middle East,” said Tong of Babel Finance.
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