China puts cryptocurrency mining on industrial blacklist in final steps to eliminate the activity

October 28, 2021

China’s top economic planner is seeking to eliminate cryptocurrency mining activity in the country, months after a government crackdown that turned dozens of companies from model energy consumers into pariahs in the world’s second-largest economy. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) added mining of bitcoin and other digital tokens to a blacklist of industrial activities that must be abandoned, as the country pushes to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.

The NDRC’s action could hammer the final nail in the coffin of cryptocurrency mining in China, following a months-long campaign that prompted these power-intensive mining enterprises to hastily flee the country and relocate overseas such as in North America and Central Asia.

The crackdown in China has led to the US becoming the world’s largest cryptocurrency miner in terms of hash rate, a unit of measure for the bitcoin network’s processing power to verify transactions and create new cryptocurrencies.

The US contributed 35.4 per cent to the global hash rate in August, followed by Kazakhstan and Russia with 18.1 per cent and 11.2 per cent, respectively, according to the latest data from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI). China was still the world’s top location for bitcoin mining as recently as June, when it contributed to 34.3 per cent of the global hash rate, down from a peak of 65 per cent in April 2020. CBECI’s latest data for July and August shows China at 0 per cent.

Copyright © 2021 South China Morning Post

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