In another sign of how serious China’s crackdown on bitcoin mining is becoming, the government of China’s Inner Mongolia region proposed plans to impose harsh penalties on cryptocurrency miners.
Inner Mongolia had been a leading Chinese crypto mining region, with its highly-polluting coal-burning power plants churning out the power needed to mine about 8% of the global bitcoin supply. On Feb. 25, it published plans to ban all bitcoin mining by April.
Now the region plans to slap anyone caught evading the mining ban with social credit system blacklist, according to the South China Morning Post. The ban slaps anyone with a poor score with penalties ranging from throttled internet speeds and air travel bans, to inability to get loans and loss of access to a college education.
Beyond that, the rules target everything from large industrial parks, internet firms and telecom companies down to cybercafes, threatening to ban their access to the region’s power trading scheme and even pulling business licenses, the SCMP reported.
Bitcoin’s Enemies Escalate
The rules, which are set to go into effect on June 1 are a sharp escalation in the region’s battle against mining, which it had until recently encouraged. Last week it called on citizens to report illegal miners.
Cambridge University’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index puts Inner Mongolia in the top three bitcoin mining regions in China, which it says gives China about 65 percent of the global hash rate
China is not the only place cracking down on bitcoin mining. In early May, New York State legislators proposed a three-year crypto mining ban, noting that “a single cryptocurrency transaction uses the same amount of energy that an average American household uses in one month.”
And on May 25, MicroStrategy CEO Michal Saylor and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the formation of a Bitcoin Mining Council, with the goal of promoting renewable energy sources for crypto mining, as well as fighting the “hostile narrative” put forth about bitcoin’s impact on global warming by crypto opponents.