China says it will eliminate bitcoin mining

A small toy figure is seen on representations of Bitcoin's virtual currency in this illustration image, December 26, 201[ads1]7. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China's state planner wants to ban bitcoin mining, according to a draft of list of industrial activities, the agency seeks to stop with a sign of increased government pressure in the cryptography sector.

On Monday, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it was looking for public opinion on a revised list of industries it wants to encourage, limit or eliminate. The list was first released in 2011.

The draft revised list of cryptocurrency mining operations, including that of bitcoin, to over 450 activities that the NDRC said should be discontinued as they failed to comply with relevant laws and regulations, were uncertain, waste resources or polluted environment .

It did not set a target date or plan for how to eliminate bitcoin mining, which means that such activities should be phased out immediately, the document said. The audience has until 7 May to comment on the draft.

The state-owned newspaper Securities Times said on Tuesday that the draft list "clearly reflects the attitude of the country's industrial policy" against the crypto-course industry.

The Cryptocurrency sector has been under great control in China since 2017, when regulators began banning the first coin deals and stopping local exchange rates.

China also began to limit cryptocurrency mining, forcing many businesses – among them some of the world's largest – to find bases elsewhere.

Chinese companies are also among the largest producers of bitcoin mining equipment. Reuters reported last year that at least three were looking to raise billions of dollars with initial public offerings in Hong Kong. But at least one, Canaan Inc, lets its application lapse.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Richard Borsuk

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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