China could move to ban mining for bitcoins if a draft list of activities the country’s state planner wants to ban becomes law.
According to a report in Reuters, citing China’s state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, the agency is facing mounting pressure from the government to control the cryptocurrency market and as a result, may move to ban bitcoin mining. As it stands, China is the biggest market for people to purchase computer hardware for cryptocurrency mining. Reuters reported on Monday (April 8) the National Development and Reform Commission said it wants public comments about the new list of industry practices it wants to bolster, restrict or get rid of altogether. The list was first made back in 2011, noted the report.
The revised list now includes mining for bitcoin among more than 450 other practices that the National Development and Reform Commission said should be removed because they didn’t meet current laws and regulations, were deemed unsafe, wasted resources or harmed the environment. The public comment period ends on May 7, reported Reuters.
This isn’t the first time the cryptocurrency market has faced increased scrutiny by the government of China. China has been cracking down on it since 2017 when regulators first banned initial coin offerings and shuttered exchanges. It has also been clamping down on bitcoin mining which has resulted in bitcoin mining operations setting up shop outside of China. Last year three of China’s biggest makers of bitcoin mining gear filed to go public but two Bitman Technologies and Canaan haven’t made moves since then to become publicly traded companies.
The move on the part of China comes as the price of bitcoin skyrocketed close to 20 percent last week, marking the best trading day since the bubble days of 2017. The price of bitcoin was able to surpass $5,000 for the first time since November. It’s not clear what drove the prices higher.