The reports of China looking to ban Bitcoin mining could take many years to implement. However, the proposed plan is further proof of Beijing’s anti-cryptocurrency stance as the country appears to eliminate all forms of crypto-related activities.
China Wants to Eliminate Bitcoin Mining
China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) published a list of industries that authorities in Beijing were looking to eliminate, restrict, or encourage. The 130-page report which was released on April 8, 2019, is a revision of a previous list published in 2011 with a few additions.
The newly published list contained Bitcoin mining as one of the industries which should be eliminated. According to Reuters, the Chinese government deems cryptocurrency mining as well as over 400 other industrial processes as wasteful, harmful to the environment, and in contravention of state regulations.
China is home to the largest mining operations in the world due to the availability of some of the cheapest electricity tariffs on the planet.
Process Could Take Years
Since the news, there has been the expected reaction from the cryptocurrency scene with talk of China deliberately trying to sabotage the industry. The proposal offers no due date for the elimination of mining, but members of the public have until May 7, 2019, to provide comments on the draft recommendations.
According to Dovey Wan, founding partner at Primitive Ventures and a trusted source for crypto news out of Asia, the outcry over the draft is much ado about nothing. Wan explains that such proposals are a current theme of the government and there are recommendations from as far back as 2006 that haven’t been implemented.
Mati Greenspan, a Senior Market Analyst at eToro, offers another perspective about the potential impact of the Chinese government banning Bitcoin mining. According to Greenspan, such a move would only cause bitcoin price to rise, rather than fall.
China’s History of Anti-Cryptocurrency Regulations
Sentiments aside, the inclusion of crypto mining as one of the processes earmarked for elimination is a further indication of China’s apathy towards cryptocurrencies. Since the ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) in September 2017, Beijing has taken several steps to stifle the industry.
The ban on cryptocurrency exchange platforms swiftly followed the ICO ban as exchange platforms based in the country were forced to move their businesses overseas. At the start of 2018, reports emerged that the government was looking to limit the energy consumption of Bitcoin miners in the country.