The National Development and Reform Commission of China appears to had a change of heart on cryptocurrency mining. In the 2019 version of the Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance Catalogue, cryptocurrency mining is no longer considered an industry that needs to be eliminated.
The Catalogue of Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance (2019) is a document that serves as a reference for Chinese governments to manage local investments and optimize industrial infrastructure. The document identifies which industries are considered undesirable for the nation’s economy, as well as highlighting those that need further investment.
The document was produced by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a state-controlled agency tasked with helping to guide economic restructuring in China and managing major economic operations in the country.
The first draft of the document was released back in April. In the initial draft, “virtual currency mining, such as the production process of bitcoin” was described as an industry that should be eliminated.
However, in the final version of the document released earlier today, cryptocurrency mining has been struck off the list of undesirable industries. This indicates that China has now reconsidered the role of cryptocurrency mining in its economy — good news for the tens of thousands of cryptocurrency miners operating in the country. The guidance outlined in the document will put into effect as of Jan 1, 2020.
Although cryptocurrency mining has never been illegal in China, this can be taken as a step in the right direction for a country that was, up until very recently, relatively hostile towards cryptocurrencies, mining, and related industries. Back in 2017, cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms were effectively banned in the country, leading to worries that cryptocurrency mining could suffer the same fate.
In related news, the Hong Kong Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to make an announcement later today outlining cryptocurrency exchange application criteria. If this is true, then it will likely be the first step towards the country walking back its previous cryptocurrency exchange ban. However, since Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region in the People’s Republic of China, this application criteria is unlikely to apply nationally.
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