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Sichuan Becomes Latest Chinese Province to Order Bitcoin Miner Shutdown

·3 min read

The Sichuan branch of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Sichuan Energy Bureau have issued an order to crack down on crypto mining operations in the province on Friday, according to a notice obtained and verified by CoinDesk. 

Sichuan, which is arguably the largest hydro-based crypto mining hub in China, is joining the ranks of Chinese provinces cracking down on bitcoin mining. A number of provinces have been cracking down on mining operations within their borders recently. Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Qinghai and Yunnan have already announced crackdowns or partial bans on the industry.

Municipal governments, city governments and energy providers, including the State Grid Corporation of China, in Sichuan will lead the crackdown. Local authorities plan to shut down 26 companies that have been identified as potential crypto mining businesses by the State Grid. 

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These companies are located across 15 hydro-rich counties in five cities and regions in Sichuan province and will be shut down by June 20, according to the notice. 

In the meantime, municipal and city governments will immediately carry out an inspection. Any company that is found to be a crypto mining project during the inspection will be shut down. The local governments are required to report updates on the process to the NDRC by June 25. 

State and provincial level energy providers are required to conduct self-inspection and immediately suspend any crypto mining projects. The electricity companies should enforce the crackdown directive “without any discount”, according to the notice. 

The notice also stresses the responsibilities of local governments in the crackdown. “Local governments must show and be more aware of their political stance, must guarantee the quality and quantity of the crackdown and maintain social stability,” the notice said. 

Related: Examine Blockchain for Ways to Stop Forced-Labor Goods, Australian Committee Says

The news came after Chinese local media reported miners at Ya’an in Sichuan province had received a notice that required them to shut off mining operations for self-inspection on Thursday night. Miners were expecting an official notice on Friday.

Read the full notice below:

Notice from the Sichuan National Development and Reform Commission and Sichuan Energy Bureau About Cleaning Up and Shutting Down Crypto Mining Projects

Municipal and city governments, the State Grid Corporation of China in Sichuan, Sichuan Energy Investment Group, central electricity companies in Sichuan and provincial state-owned electricity companies:

Based on the provincial government’s 73rd routine meeting and the requirements to crack down on bitcoin mining from the 51st meeting by the Financial and Development Committee of the State Council, we have issued the following:

1. Complete the process to filter out and shut down crypto mining companies

The local governments, with assistance of the State Grid and Sichuan Energy Investment Group, will filter out, clean up and shut down 26 companies that have been inspected and reported as potential crypto mining projects by the Sichuan branch of the State Grid by June 20. The NDRC will monitor the electricity usage and the shutdown, and make daily reports.

2. Carry out self-inspection among electricity companies in Sichuan

Central electricity providers in Sichuan and provincial state-owned electricity companies should investigate their clients and immediately cut off their electricity supply once found to be mining projects during the inspection. The companies should enforce the crackdown issued by the government without any discount and report their inspection results to the NDRC before June 25.

3. A comprehensive cleanup and inspection

Local governments should immediately cast a net to inspect and must immediately close the crypto mining projects found during the inspection. The local governments are required to report the results to the NDRC before June 25. Local governments are not allowed to approve any crypto mining projects.

4. Make clear the responsibilities of the entities that are carrying out the crackdown

Local governments are the ones that are responsible for the crackdown. The local governments must be more aware of their political stance, must guarantee the quality and quantity of the task and must maintain social stability.

UPDATE (June 18, 2021, 16:05 UTC): Updated with a translation of the notice.

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