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Yunnan Province in China Clamps Down on Illegal Bitcoin Mining

2 mins
Updated by Leila Stein
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In Brief

  • China's fourth-largest bitcoin mining province threatens to shut down illegal mining operations.
  • Yunnan province authority ordered an investigation into the illegal use of state electrical power.
  • This comes as China begins turning against crypto mining across the country.
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China’s fourth-largest bitcoin mining province threatens to shut down non-compliant companies by the end of June.

The Yunnan province authority has ordered an investigation into the illegal use of state electrical power by those involved in bitcoin mining.

According to a report from the China Securities Journal, The Yunnan Energy Bureau threatened to cut power to those caught using electricity for bitcoin mining.

At the end of last week, concerns about this upcoming ban were circulating, although official confirmation was difficult to find.

However, reports in local media have confirmed that a notice was sent by authorities but did not state that mining operations would be banned.

According to Chinese journalist Colin Wu, the investigation will try to identify those who haven’t paid the necessary fees or taxes, have private power connections, or safety issues with their operations.

Media outlet Sina Technology received confirmation from the Bureau that various electricity departments will carry out inspections.

Yunnan is China’s fourth-biggest mining hub after Xinjiang, Sichuan, and Inner Mongolia.

This southwest province is a key contributor to China’s mining supremacy. The country overall accounts for 65 percent of the bitcoin hashrate.

China’s bitcoin mining crackdown

China has been shutting down mining operations across the country since the beginning of the year.

The reason for the clampdown is two-fold. First, it is China’s attempt to lower its carbon emissions. Second, it aims to protect its financial system from what it says is a volatile asset.

Already, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, and Qinghai have all told cryptocurrency mining operations to close. The move to ban bitcoin mining in the country comes as China’s overall relationship with crypto changes.

In May, the government made an about-turn and banned financial institutions from offering any services involving cryptocurrency. An announcement of possible mining bans quickly followed.

China’s interest in CBDC

While China has changed its stance on bitcoin, it is still pushing ahead with its own central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Currently, the digital yuan is being trialed across the country in different stages. At the moment, it is a retail CBDC, with citizens in the selected areas able to make purchases with it.

However, the central bank already indicated its interest in expanding its use, with cross-border payments even a possibility.

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Leila Stein
After working in news and lifestyle journalism, Leila decided to bring her interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain to her day job. She now runs the Features and Opinions desk at BeinCrypto which fits perfectly with her enthusiasm for crypto's social and political impact.