China is the world’s largest market for computer hardware designed to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) wanted public opinions on a revised list of industries it wants to encourage, restrict or eliminate. The list was first published in 2011.
The draft for a revised list added cryptocurrency mining, including that of bitcoin, to over 450 activities the NDRC said should be phased out as they did not adhere to relevant laws and regulations, were unsafe, wasted resources or polluted the environment.
It did not stipulate a target date or plan for how to eliminate bitcoin mining, meaning that such activities should be phased out immediately, the document said. The public has until May 7 to comment on the draft.
Last week, the price of bitcoin soared nearly 20 percent in its best day since the height of the 2017 bubble and breaking $5,000 for the first time since mid-November, though analysts and traders admitted that they were puzzled by the surge.
The cryptocurrency sector has been under heavy scrutiny in China since 2017 when regulators started to ban initial coin offerings and shut local cryptocurrency trading exchanges.
China began to limit cryptocurrency mining, forcing many firms - among them some of the world’s largest - to find bases elsewhere.