3 More Chinese Provinces Shutter Crypto Mines as Clampdown Continues

A landscape outside the capital of Gansu province, Lanzhou.

Three provinces in China have joined a growing list of jurisdictions in the country that have ordered a halt to crypto mining amid a nationwide crackdown on the industry.

Heifi Online, a Chinese state-owned website in Anhui, reported Wednesday that the province will “clean up and shut down” crypto mines to avoid an imminent power shortage.

Also on Wednesday, Chinese journalist Colin Wu reported that the provincial departments of China’s State Grid Corp. in Henan and Gansu will shutter local mining industries in those provinces.

Related: Australia Faces Big Choices on Crypto Regulation

The two provincial State Grid departments are implementing a decision that the state-owned enterprise made late last month, Wu told CoinDesk on Wednesday. The notice by State Grid’s headquarters calls on provinces to “clean up and crack down” on crypto mines that are using up electricity from the national grid.

More provinces are expected to follow suit, Wu wrote.

Gansu province is in West China, bordering Xinjiang, Qinghai, Sichuan and Inner Mongolia. It accounted for 2% the country’s hashrate between September 2019 and April 2020, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index.

China’s National Energy Administration has warned that Anhui’s electricity demand will exceed its supply starting in 2022, Hefei Online wrote.

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Henan and Anhui are landlocked provinces in eastern China.

At a May meeting of China’s State Council, ministers discussed a crackdown on crypto mines. Provinces, prefectures and cities have moved against the industry since. Qinghai, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Sichuan announced they are either cleaning up or shutting down mining.

The concern is partly environmental and partly financial. China is gearing up to achieve ambitious carbon neutrality goals set in its five-year plan in March, while regulators are concerned about crypto’s impact on financial stability.

In response, mining firms are starting to move their rigs overseas.

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