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China’s crackdown knocks down operations for crypto miners

Cryptocurrency miners, including HashCow and BTC.TOP, have halted all or part of their China operations after Beijing intensified a crackdown on bitcoin mining and trading, hammering digital currencies amid heightened global regulatory scrutiny.

A State Council committee led by Vice Premier Liu He announced the efforts late on Friday – the first time the council has targeted virtual currency mining, a big business in China that accounts for as much as 70 percent of the world’s crypto supply.

Crypto miners use increasingly powerful, specially-designed computer equipment, or rigs, to verify virtual coin transactions in a process that produces newly minted cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Crypto mining consumes a lot of energy, which runs counter to China’s carbon neutrality goals,” said Chen Jiahe, chief investment officer of Beijing-based family office Novem Arcae Technologies.

The crackdown is also part of China’s stepped-up drive to curb speculative crypto trading, he added.

“Meanwhile, we’re contacting overseas service providers, to pave way for exports of mining rigs in the future,” Huobi Mall said via its official Telegram community, and asked clients “not to worry and calm down”.

BTC.TOP, a crypto mining pool, also announced the suspension of its China business, citing regulatory risks.

Founder Jiang Zhuoer said in a microblog post via Weibo that in the future, BTC.TOP will mainly conduct crypto mining business in North America.

“In the long term, nearly all of Chinese crypto mining rigs will be sold overseas, as Chinese regulators crack down on mining at home,” he wrote.

Sources: Al Jazeera, Reuters