The crypto mining world remains in suspense about the future of Sichuan-based crypto mines after a regulators’ meeting on June 2. Two sources who know meeting attendees and asked not to be named told TechNode that Sichuan regulators have asked crypto mining companies to make plans to exit the province after September.
Following talk of a crackdown on bitcoin mining from top-level government officials, Sichuan officials met to discuss the effect of crypto mining on electricity consumption.
Regulators told crypto mining companies to make plans to move their operations elsewhere and not to add any more new rigs during this transition, two sources who know someone in the meeting told TechNode.
Industry insider Molly Mo first reported that the Sichuan meeting was positive towards the industry.
Local authorities don’t want any sudden shocks to the local economy, so they will allow miners to stay through the end of the rainy season, which usually lasts until the end of September, one source said.
At the time of the publication, no official statements or regulations have come out of the meeting, which took place on June 2.
Why it matters: The southwestern province is a major crypto mining hub, due to its abundance of cheap electricity from hydropower plants during the rainy season. A crackdown there would significantly disrupt global crypto mining operations.
- Another major crypto mining hub, Inner Mongolia, proposed a set of eight measures on May 25 that will likely kill the province’s mining industry.
Details: No policies have been officially released since the meeting. It was “inconclusive,” reported Chinese blockchain news outlet PANews (in Chinese).
- Sichuan energy regulators called the meeting to gather information about how the region’s crypto mining industry affects electricity consumption and what would happen if they shut down the mining industry. The Block first reported the news on May 27.
Context: After the State Council’s Financial Stability committee discussed a crackdown on Bitcoin mining at a meeting on May 21, the global crypto community has been anxiously waiting for a decision from Sichuan provincial officials. The State Council is China’s cabinet of ministers.
- Bitcoin mining’s high energy consumption has reportedly caught the attention of Chinese regulators as they are ramping up sustainability efforts. Beijing wants the country to be carbon neutral by 2060, according to the latest Five Year Plan.
- Beijing authorities also see crypto trading as speculative investment that has become popular with mom-and-pop investors, bringing financial risk to the economy.
READ MORE: INSIGHTS | A turning point for China crypto?
This story has been updated with more information.