Official, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld
China’s central government last week vowed to crack down on bitcoin mining and trading, while this week Inner Mongolia, also a major mining center, proposed measures to root out the company. These measures are accelerating the shift of mining activities to North America and Central Asia.
An official from the Sichuan Energy Regulatory Office of the National Energy Administration told Reuters that Sichuan was not the only province collecting information on cryptomining.
But the official, who is not authorized to speak to the media, declined to say whether Sichuan would announce measures to crack down on the practice following the meeting with the power companies. Chinese media earlier reported that Sichuan will hold a cryptomining seminar on June 2.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are created or ‘mined’ by high-powered computers that compete to solve complex mathematical puzzles in an energy-intensive process that often relies on fossil fuels, especially coal.
Cryptomining is a big business in China, accounting for more than half of the global cryptocurrency supply. But the power-hungry sector could prevent China from meeting its carbon neutrality goals, some analysts say.
According to a study recently published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, the annual energy consumption of the Chinese bitcoin industry is expected to peak in 2024 at around 297 terawatt hours, exceeding the level of total energy consumption of Italy and the United Kingdom. ‘Saudi Arabia in 2016.
Hydropower-rich Sichuan is China’s second-largest bitcoin mining province after Xinjiang, contributing nearly 10% of China’s hashrate, or computing power, in April, according to data compiled by the University of Cambridge.