BUSINESS Inner Mongolia enforces ban on cryptocurrency mining amid tightening regulation

BUSINESS

Inner Mongolia enforces ban on cryptocurrency mining amid tightening regulation

Global Times

22:16, May 19, 2021

A visual representation of the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin (Photo: AFP)

North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is stepping up a crackdown on cryptocurrency mining by setting up a platform for the public to report on enterprises engaging in mining activities.

The platform will accept complaints and clues about enterprises engaging in cryptocurrency mining, disguising themselves as data centers to enjoy preferential tax, land, and energy policies and obtaining electricity supply through illegal means for operating cryptocurrency mining projects, according to an official statement issued by the Inner Mongolia Development and Reform Commission on Tuesday.

The reporting platform is the latest step for the Inner Mongolia regional government's plan to clean up and shut down cryptocurrency mining by the end of April.

Apart from banning all mining projects, local authorities have also banned setting up new cryptocurrency mining facilities in the region, which is a major base for cryptocurrency mining in the country, due to its relatively cheap electricity supply.

The move also comes as Chinese regulators are tightening supervision of runaway crypto-currency prices.

Cryptocurrency prices have recently gone on a roller coaster ride with trade and speculative investments seeing a rebound, which would undermine security in the market and disrupt normal economic and financial activities, the National Internet Finance Association of China, the China Banking Association and the Payment and Clearing Association of China said in a joint statement on Tuesday, addressing the prevention of risks stemming from cryptocurrency speculation.

Financial institutions and payment platforms are not allowed to handle businesses connected to cryptocurrencies, the three Chinese industry associations said, sending a warning to investors about the risks associated with speculative bets on cryptocurrency assets.

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