China warns Bitcoin miners to stop posing as regular IT companies
China has threatened Bitcoin miners still operating in Hebei, China with internet blackouts, as local authorities attempt to locate clandestine crypto hubs.
Tech companies in the northern province must self-certify they’re not concealing crypto miners by September 30, according to Bloomberg.
Beijing launched sweeping crackdowns on crypto mining across China earlier this year, particularly in the southwest where renewable energy is abundant and cheap.
The new rules effectively exiled local Bitcoin miners to more crypto-friendly nations like Kazakhstan and the US.
But some Bitcoin miners in China have stayed put, posing as data research and storage firms.
To evade detection, one anonymous source told Bloomberg they regularly switch facilities, and keep the number of active machines to a minimum.
They said maintaining less than 100 miners makes it hard to spot suspicious power usage.
Now, China’s government is supposedly worried that remaining Bitcoin miners could strain the region’s power supply, causing problems throughout winter.
China says Bitcoin mining threatens national security
In response, China’s Provincial Cyberspace Administration Office (PCAO) teamed up with six other government groups to condemn Bitcoin mining.
“Virtual currency mining consumes huge energy, which runs counter to my country’s goal of carbon neutrality and carbon peak,” the PCAO said in an announcement (automatically translated).
“Its proliferation and spread will seriously affect economic and social development and directly threaten national security,” it added (our empahsis).
Hebei authorities have been ordered to verify and inspect IT operations across the region and ramp up security measures to stamp out Bitcoin mining.
Read more: [China threatens to dismantle Bitcoin miners, power plants with force]
Should Bitcoin miners continue past the upcoming self-certification deadline, Chinese police promised to monitor those found flouting the rules and dispose of their hardware.
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