China is a country which has a growing dislike for cryptocurrency and all related activities. The PBoC officially forbade CNY-based trading several months ago. It now appears the government is extending its crackdown to domestic Bitcoin mining operations. A total of 600 computers and other pieces of hardware were confiscated in Tianjin earlier this week.
Illicit Bitcoin Mining in China
According to sources, the investigation began due abnormal electricity usage in Tianjin. One of the local energy operators reported this development to the police. Eventually, the investigation led them to a location where someone was mining Bitcoin on a rather large scale. With 600 mining units and several high-power fans confiscated, the operation has now been shut down completely.
Local news outlet Xinhua claims this is the “largest power theft case” in a while. It is a bit unclear why they refer to this as theft, considering how the energy wasn’t stolen exactly. Instead, someone set up a Bitcoin mining operation without alerting the authorities. That is still illegal in China, and the end result remains the exact same. It also further confirms Chinese officials don’t take kindly to any cryptocurrency mining activity in the country.
This is another method which will push miners out of China. Despite being the largest mining hub for Bitcoin in recent years, things are changing in quick succession. The government effectively discourages any involvement in cryptocurrency and will continue to do so. Several miners shut down their operation, whereas others simply move to a different location altogether.
The Crackdown Continues Unabated
Up until now, there has been some debate as to whether or not China would revert its stance on cryptocurrencies. This latest development seems to indicate that will not be the case. The Central Bank plans to further regulate the power usage of Bitcoin miners in the region. This effort is taking place to reduce the scale of these operations and eventually force miners to different countries altogether.
This has caused some miners to pay more attention to European countries. Iceland has been extremely popular in the past few years due to its abundance of cheap electricity. Other European countries are also of great interest. In Canada, Bitcoin miners are also launching new operations as we speak. China’s role of importance has all but dissipated, yet the government failed to bring Bitcoin down to its knees.
For now, developments like this one will continue to occur in China for some time to come. During the seizure of this hardware, five people were identified as persons of interest. One other individual has been detained for his involvement in this mining operation. It remains unclear if they will face any legal repercussions for partaking in this venture.