The latest reports from China point out that authorities there have seized close to 7,000 crypto mining machines. This news came from the news outlet CCTV on December 22. What happened and what does it mean for the future of mining in this country?
The Full Story
It was reported that this crackdown came due to authorities finding mining devices that were illegally using stolen electric power for crypt mining. They were discovered during an investigation in which over 70,000 homes were inspected.
Chinese investigators also looked into over 3,000 merchants’ premises as well as factories and other locations. This happened in the Kaiping District of Tangshan city. It was all part of an investigation that started earlier in 2019 and seems to be set to run into next year.
Tangshan police worked together with the State Electric Power Department. Their mission was to find out who was illegally using power in their region. They were focussed on discovering suspiciously high levels of electricity usage. What they found is that crypto miners were stealing the electricity from another village.
Police were then able to confiscate over 50 high-power transformers, as well as close to 7,000 ASIC miners. With the crypto mining machines running 24 hours a day, they were consuming as much as 40 times a regular family would.
Earlier this year, it was reported that a 61 year-old grandmother in the same region was convicted of stealing electricity for Bitcoin mining. Tang Qiuping was said at the time to be facing four months in jail and a fine of 10,000 yuan ($1,450) for stealing over 17,000 kWh of electricity.
What Is the Future of Mining in China?
Some studies suggest that the Asian giant is responsible for 65% of all Bitcoin mining carried out on a global basis. However, in recent times, the country’s authorities have been looking to clean up the industry. Other countries have seen mining operations start to grow in size at the same time.
It was suggested recently that crypto mining activities here might now be outlawed altogether. Yet, is seems that this isn’t the case. Rather, it appears that they are going to allow legal mining to continue. But authorities are acting to crack down on illegal operations that steal energy.
The Chinese government’s views on cryptocurrencies have been the subject of much debate in 2019. It is hoped that 2020 will be the year in which they launch their own state-back digital currency. Certainly, comments by President Xi Jinping suggested that they are interested in seeing how the blockchain can be used in the future.