China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a state planning agency charged with spearheading macroeconomic policies, has revealed it is considering the elimination of crypto mining in the country. The news was reported by Reuters on April 9.
The NDRC has reportedly now included crypto mining as part of its draft for a revised list of industrial activities the agency intends to curtail. The list — which reportedly runs at over 450 points long — identifies activities the state deems to be in violation of relevant laws and regulations, pose a safety hazard, or are unecological.
It forms part of the NDRC’s wider Catalogue for Guiding Industry Restructuring, which has been issued since 2005 and determines which industries are to be fostered, restricted or eliminated in the country.
With the draft list reportedly open to public feedback since yesterday, April 8, the NDRC has reportedly not set a proposed target date for eradicating crypto mining activities, stipulating instead that the industry should be phased out with immediate effect.
Reuters cites state-owned newspaper the Securities Times as today reporting that the NDRC’s draft list “distinctly reflects the attitude of the country’s industrial policy” towards the cryptocurrency industry. The public now has until May 7 to comment on the draft.
Since the People’s Bank of China (PBoC)’s historic ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) in September 2017, the Chinese state has made a series of faltering moves to attempt to cut the country’s crypto mining titans down to size.
Due to the country’s abundance of cheap energy and hardware, reports in previous years had indicated that over two-thirds of global mining pools were based in China. By January 2018, a leaked memo reportedly from the central bank to a top-level government internet finance group advocated for the orderly exit of Bitcoin miners from the country.
Nonetheless, mining has to date not yet been prohibited outright, with industry giants such as Beijing-born Bitmain operating both in the country and overseas. This has continued notwithstanding the adverse impact of the crypto bear market, domestic pressure and increasing trade frictions with the United States.
In late March, Bitmain announced its plans to set up 200,000 units of mining equipment in China to benefit from the country’s low-cost hydroelectric power, even as it contracted its overseas operations.