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China: Blockchain Tourism Initiative Launched, Bitcoin Miners Busted

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

China’s crypto-crackdown remains firmly in place, but interest in all things blockchain and cryptocurrency-related remains high in the Middle Kingdom.

Yunnan Province, China. Source: iStock/AlexBrylov

Per Xinhua, tourists and tour operators visiting attractions in the Yunnan Province will soon be able to obtain blockchain-powered invoices for online and mobile payments.

The news outlet states that buyers will be able to apply for blockchain-powered invoices using smartphones, and receive the new invoices in their email inboxes within 48 hours. The project operators state that the blockchain technology that they will use “makes it impossible to tamper with invoice information, and will save significant costs of printing traditional paper invoices for the tourist attractions in the province.”

Elsewhere in the country, AFPBB reports that Jiangsu Province police have arrested 13 people for stealing USD 2.8 million worth of electricity from a power plant – using the energy to power a massive Bitcoin mining scheme. The group is accused of running the sophisticated operation for two years – from May 2017 to May 2019.

Prosecutors say the group rented office space at 10 factories outside the city of Zhejiang City, and rather than use power at the factories they were occupying, instead diverted power from a large range of nearby offices in an effort to throw electricity authorities off the scent.

However, prosecutors say that authorities eventually noticed that electricity usage in the area was following unusual patterns, and tipped off the police, who eventually succeeded in closing the net on the gang.

As reported last week, a recent ruling by a Chinese internet court appears to have given Bitcoin some sort of legal footing in the country, recognizing it as “virtual property.”