Thursday, 25 April, 2019

China says it wants to eliminate bitcoin mining

A small toy figure is seen on representations of the Bitcoin virtual currency in this illustration China wants to destroy ‘wasteful’ Bitcoin mining
Priscilla Morrison | 10 April, 2019, 15:43

The economic planning body has concluded that Bitcoin mining, as well as over 450 related activities, should be phased out.

While the news of Bitcoin crackdowns in the most populated country on earth is usually a catalyst for fear, uncertainty and doubt across crypto markets, many analysts believe a full-scale Bitcoin mining ban in China could actually be good news.

According to Reuters, the NDRC didn't give a date or any details on how, exactly, Bitcoin mining should be eliminated - but that would mean that Bitcoin mining is to cease immediately. The public still has until May 7 to comment on the ban.

"The NDRC's move is in line overall with China's desire to control different layers of the rapidly growing crypto industry, and does not yet signal a major shift in policy", said Jehan Chu, managing partner at blockchain investment firm Kenetic. Bitcoin now falls in that last category. China has always been the world's top destination for Bitcoin mining farms due to favorable energy prices from coal -rich regions and easily accessible hydro power. Chinese mining farms have had too much control over the process, which has led to centralization issues.

More news: Sudan security forces tear gas protesters outside army HQ

The cryptocurrency sector has been under heavy scrutiny in China since 2017, when regulators started to ban initial coin offerings and shut local cryptocurrency trading exchanges.

Almost half of bitcoin mining pools - groups of miners that team up for economies of scale - are located in the Asia-Pacific, a Cambridge University study said in December.

China is now the dominant force in crypto mining hardware production with companies such as Bitmain controlling a large percentage of the industry.

Two of the largest Bitcoin mining equipment makers, Bitmain and Canaan, were initially intending to go public and raise billions of dollars in Hong Kong, but the companies have unexpectedly let their initial public offerings lapse since making their announcements.

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