China’s bitcoin crackdown widens as authorities shut down mining activities

China’s bitcoin crackdown widens as authorities shut down mining activities

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An image of bitcoin on top of the Chinese flag

Xinjiang and Qinghai provinces have reportedly ordered miners to shut down their operations amid Beijing’s relentless crackdown.

China’s latest move against bitcoin mining is seeing more and more miners pushed out of the major mining regions in the country. According to reports, local authorities in the major Bitcoin mining regions of western regions of Qinghai and Xinjiang have asked miners to shut down amid increased pushing from Beijing.

In Xinjiang, the National Development and Reform Commission asked its regulators in the prefecture of Changji to shut down all crypto mining activities. The region of Xinjiang provides for the largest share of Bitcoin mining hashrate in the world.

The Qinghai Industry and Information Technology Department issued a notice to the region’s leadership asking them to stop approving any new cryptocurrency mining projects. The document also required that all existing mining activities stop, with authorities told to investigate and punish any big data farms that might be using its facilities to mine Bitcoin.

Authorities in Qinghai also ordered companies that offer mining-related services, including access to land and power, to cease offering these services to miners.  The notice was issued not long after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the province, reports the South China Morning Post citing state-owned news outlet Xinhua News Agency.

Meanwhile, China is also upping its ante against bitcoin mining through censorship and blocking of crypto exchange searches on Baidu and Weibo. On Thursday search results for the top crypto exchanges Huobi, Binance, and OKEx were blocked on the two platforms. Last week, Weibo blocked several crypto-related accounts, including those of crypto influencers, exchanges and traders.

Beijing’s directive to local governments to crack down on crypto mining and trading in powerhouse mining regions of Xinjiang and Qinghai follows similar steps in May.

At the time of the May 2021 directives, the news and general weakness in the market saw Bitcoin price fall sharply to lose over 50% of its value against the US dollar. While the price has recovered from lows of $30,200, its current price level of $37,498 means BTC/USD is nearly 42% down since its 14 April ATH of $64,895.