Chinese officials have formally proposed sweeping new rules that would end cryptocurrency mining in the country, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday. The proposal is part of a series of amendments to the National Development and Reform Commission’s guidance for adjusting the country’s industrial structure.
The NDRC guidance includes proposals to either encourage, restrict, or end a variety of industries in China. The Post reports that crypto mining was among those industries targeted for elimination, a list that includes industries that are believed to be energy-wasting or environmentally unfriendly. Under rules created by the Chinese cabinet more than a decade ago:
Investment and loans in those industries are banned. During the elimination period, authorities are allowed to raise electricity prices for relevant businesses to force them to close. The manufacturing, sale, and use of products in the eliminated categories are also prohibited.
As the Post notes, China has been the leader in the cryptocurrency mining industry and is “home to some of the world’s largest cryptocurrency mining farms.” In addition, the country is also home to Bitmain Technologies, a leading maker of crypto mining equipment and major mining operator.
China previously threatened its crypto mining industry a little more than a year ago. That threat, which included a notice instructing mining operations to conduct an orderly exit from the industry, was never translated into official action to ban the sector. It did, however, prompt Chinese miners to explore options in other countries. Many are likely to have the same reaction to this latest threat.