China’s Inner Mongolia region has escalated its endeavors to stamp out cryptocurrency mining with tough new draft rules that propose harsh punishments for anyone engaged in the practice, a move that will accelerate the relocation of mining outside China. The draft rules promise to punish bitcoin miners or those providing resources to miners by banning them from the region’s power trading scheme, revoking business licenses, and even shutting their businesses down completely.
China targets crypto miners.
China has continued to crack down on crypto regulations, as under the new rules, which are available for public review until June 1, individuals who flout these regulations could be put on a social credit blacklist barring them from getting loans or making use of the country’s transportation system, as well as facing other legal consequences. The draft rules mark a sharp escalation in an already surprising change in attitude by the central government towards bitcoin miners and come less than a week after the Inner Mongolia region called on citizens to report illegal crypto miners.
China takes bitcoin mining seriously to control carbon emissions.
Miners who have taken advantage of cheap, coal-powered electricity in places like Xinjiang, Sichuan, and Inner Mongolia find that this tolerance is fading fast. China has set a bold target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, and bitcoin mining, which uses 21.36 terawatt-hours a year globally – more than the total energy used by Argentina, according to the Cambridge University – is now seen by the government as a large stumbling block to achieving that goal. In addition, illicit coal mining that endangers lives and makes climate targets even harder to reach has also played a part in the latest crackdown on bitcoin mining.