Bitcoin miners prepare to leave China

Jiang Zhuoer blames the blow: his company, BTC.TOP, one of the big bitcoin miners in China, will have to move most of its activities out of the country. About twenty sites, hundreds of employees and hundreds of thousands of electronic boxes to uninstall, package and send to more lenient regions. “We are looking towards Kazakhstan, Southeast Asia and North America”, Mr. Jiang, 36, notes. We still have mines in China: last week all sites in Xinjiang were closed, but elsewhere regulations are not always enforced immediately. As it stands, we will be mining [processus consistant à résoudre des équations de plus en plus complexes pour valider les transactions en bitcoins] as long as possible, and when we can no longer, as in Inner Mongolia or Xinjiang, we will move abroad ”, he explains.

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China is no longer the eldorado of bitcoin. Domestic companies are willing to move to the United States or Canada – even if the costs are up to three times higher – because they enjoy political stability. Since mid-May, bitcoin has been under a double fire in the Middle Kingdom. After a new surge in prices at the start of 2021, the regulator worried about financial risks. On May 18, three banking federations issued a joint statement, recalling that cryptocurrencies [n’étaient] no real currencies ”, warning against ” the speculation ” and calling on Chinese financial institutions not to accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. A reminder of rules already in force for years. Vice Premier Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s closest economic adviser, adds that it is time to “Fight bitcoin mining and trading”, to avoid “The transmission of individual risks to society”.

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It is the disproportionate electricity consumption of bitcoin mining that also earned it the wrath of power. Inner Mongolia, which Beijing has issued a wake-up call for failing to meet its carbon intensity reduction targets, began targeting the cryptocurrency industry as early as February. She gave another turn of the screw on May 26. The authorities have even set up a telephone line encouraging residents to report illegal mining activities. Since then, more than a thousand people across China have been arrested for online extortion crimes involving money laundering using cryptocurrency, the public security ministry said on June 9.

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