Chinese Provinces Tighten Crypto Crackdown – Despite Setting New Electricity Rates for Miners
A number of Chinese provinces have increased the rate at which crypto miners must pay for electricity – despite the fact that mining has been outlawed in the nation.
The China Times reported that the authorities in Zhejiang Province, Hainan Province, and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Republic had all raised their electricity rates for crypto miners in spite of a nationwide mining ban imposed last year. The move has caused no shortage of confusion for observers both domestic and international.
This development is likely a result of a bureaucratic pile-up dating back to before last September’s crackdown on mining, however, and not an indication of a change in government policy.
Beijing has been clear in its messaging over crypto in China. In numerous public announcements made since September 2021, it has sought to make clear that crypto is a public menace, and that all forms of crypto transactions are illegal in China, also claiming that crypto mining is a highly polluting and illegal form of industry that will not be tolerated in any form.
Indeed, the China Times added that a representative at the Zhejiang Province local government’s service center and the Shangcheng District of Hangzhou had confirmed that crypto mining “activities” were “still not allowed,” and that the new document was actually a form of “supporting punishment” that added to the ban.
The media outlet explained:
“This announcement [higher fees for mining] does not mean that mining is legal if higher electricity tariffs are applied. Rather, it means that after miners have been discovered, the electricity they used to power their mining activities can be calculated and charged to the miner accordingly.”
Whether such a response is simply a matter of saving face for red tape-related gaffes or whether Chinese provinces really want to punish crypto miners with yet higher fines may never become clear. But for now, one thing is certain: China will not be opening its doors to crypto miners again any time soon.
Meanwhile, a number of Chinese provinces and cities have opened crypto mining “hotlines” that will allow people to report suspected incidents of mining in their communities – on an anonymous basis if necessary.
Dzwww reported that the latest hotline has been set up in Shandong, China’s second-largest province in terms of population.
Citizens in some 16 cities throughout the province have been asked to report on businesses and individuals they suspected may be conducting illicit mining operations – and on the operators of mining farms masquerading as “data centers.”
Elsewhere, customs officials in the Huangpu District of Shanghai have seized a haul of second-hand crypto mining rigs that they claim were in the process of being smuggled out of the country under fake names.
Huangzhou.com reported that the officials noted that the machines had been identified as Antminer models. The rigs, they said, were in a “dilapidated” state – with many “covered in rust.”
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