China adds crypto mining to “phased-out” industries, a ban revision or the final nail?

abdelaziz Fathi

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced on October 21 that it is seeking public feedback on its proposal to include bitcoin mining on a list of “phased-out” industries. 

Some crypto media outlets claimed that the move effectively revises a sweeping ban by Beijing’s authorities against crypto miners. They further concluded that the influential agency’s suggestion was a reaction to the Bitcoin’s record prices – which went past $66,000 per coin –  as well as the US’s new-found dominance in the mining industry.

This explanation is, however, a bit of “misinformation, if not an outright falsehood,” said The Block. According to a recent report, a public consultation could be just a formality. For context, the publication said the Inner Mongolia DRC had previously released a proposal in May for specific measures to halt activities of Bitcoin miners.

At the time, it only had a public consultation period for seven days, instead of the usual one-month length. What makes the difference in the latest revision, according to The Block, is that the NDRC already clearly stated its intention a month ago.

“Following the crackdown directives from the State Council during the summer, the NDRC said on September 24 that it will once again revise the 2019 Catalogue to add crypto mining to the list of industries that should be eliminated. The commissioner didn’t formally print an update until a month later,” The Block explains.

Mainstream outlets in the region, including The South China Morning Post, also supported this interpretation and warned it could actually make things worse. The Hong Kong-based newspaper said the action marks the final nail in the coffin of Bitcoin mining activities in China.

The massive crackdown of China on crypto exchanges and miners has been ongoing for some time now. The largest-ever crackdown on crypto miners took place a few months ago, sending the largest crypto miners out of the country. One of the few large crypto trading companies still remaining in China was Huobi, which also had to leave the country.

The recent rules announced by the Chinese government on September 25 suggest that crypto transactions in China are fully banned. This includes services provided by offshore exchanges. In addition, the local laws also restrict platforms around the world to hire locals in China for roles such as marketing, tech, or payment.

As a result, the majority of the crypto miners in the country had to leave and find new jurisdictions for their activities. While some found homes in neighbouring countries, others moved further to the Western countries.

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