Crypto miners are leaving China in the wake of government crackdowns on mining activities. Other countries might find it easier and more profitable to mine crypto as Chinese miners adjust in the transition period. Crypto exchange Binance was barred from operating in the UK and the company ceased its operation in Ontario, Canada. Founded in China, Binance quickly moved out of the country after China banned crypto trading in 2017.
Crypto miners migrate
The world of blockchain moves fast, and nowhere does it move faster than China. Here’s what you need to know about China’s block-world in the week of June 23 to June 29.
- Chinese crypto mining firm Canaan has moved some of its operations to Kazakhstan as the Chinese government asks crypto miners to close. The miner provider has started mining Bitcoin in Kazakhstan with its latest Avalon Miner units after setting up a service center in the country earlier this month. (Cointelegraph)
- As more miners close their operations in China due to an ongoing crackdown, crypto mining is becoming easier and more profitable for people outside of China. Bitcoin mining difficulty, a measure of how hard it is to mine bitcoin, could drop 20% in the next adjustment period. Mining difficulty adjusts every two weeks. Previously, difficulty fell by 16% and 5% on May 30 and June 14, respectively. (The Block)
Crypto exchanges woes
- Crypto exchange Binance has been banned from operating in the UK by the country’s market regulators. The world’s biggest crypto trading platform had planned to launch a dedicated digital asset marketplace for the UK but failed to meet the country’s anti-money laundering standards. Binance was founded in China in 2017 but quickly moved out of the country after the government banned domestic crypto trading in September that year. (CNBC)
- Binance has ceased operation in the Canadian province of Ontario after it declined to register as a trading platform in the region. The company advised its Ontario customers to close their accounts by the end of this year as the region became a “restricted jurisdiction” for the company. Lori Stein, a partner with Bay Street law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, told The Globe and Mail that Binance might have concluded the cost of compliance in Ontario wasn’t worth pursuing. (The Globe and Mail)
- On June 24, Chinese exchange OKCoin announced plans to close its Beijing company in response to China’s crackdown on over-the-counter crypto trading. The company’s founder, Star Xu, will take charge of the dissolution. The exchange moved its main operations overseas after the Chinese government first banned crypto trading in September 2017. (China Star Market, in Chinese)
- BTCChina, one of China’s first cryptocurrency exchanges, said on Thursday that it had “completely exited from bitcoin-related businesses” in response to China’s ongoing crackdown on crypto trading and mining. The company, founded in 2011, had already signaled an intent to move away from cryptocurrency trading in 2017 when China first banned crypto trading on domestic exchanges. Bitcoin miners in Xinjiang, Sichuan, and Inner Mongolia regions were ordered to cease operations earlier this month, despite previous agreements with local governments. (South China Morning Post)
NFTs from Alipay
Alibaba’s mobile payment app Alipay issued two styles of NFT (non-fungible token) artwork on June 23. Buyers can set the artwork as a background on the payment app. The artworks were inspired by ancient murals in Dunhuang, a site in Gansu province known for exquisite Buddhist paintings on cave walls. Alibaba’s blockchain branch AntChain issued the artworks through the Alipay app, each style limited to 8,000 pieces and priced at 10 Alipay points and RMB 10 apiece. Both sold out. Resale isn’t allowed, according to Alipay’s NFT rights disclosure page. (Sina Finance, in Chinese)