Cryptocurrency Mining Declared Obsolete by China’s State Economic Planner

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The Chinese central government has reiterated its crackdown on cryptocurrency mining within China’s borders, with the state economic planner officially declaring such business operations to be obsolete.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced on 10 January that it had approved amendments to the 2019 edition of its “Industrial Structural Adjustment Guidance Catalogue (产业结构调整指导目录(2019年本)) that include cryptocurrency mining as one of seven new outdated or obsolete industries.

NDRC said it had approved the resolution on 27 December at its 20th regular meeting.

The move comes after a heavy handed crackdown on cryptocurrency mining in 2021, which saw mining operations shut down across multiple provinces in China including Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Sichuan.

In September 2021 the NDRC led the issuance of the “Notice Concerning Rectification of Cryptocurrency Mining Activities” (关于整治虚拟货币“挖矿”活动的通知), which called for “strengthening upstream and downstream monitoring of cryptocurrency mining activities, strictly banning new cryptocurrency mining projects, and accelerating the orderly withdrawal of existing projects.”

NDRC said that measures to stamp out cryptocurrency mining are part of efforts to “expedite industrial structural optimisation and help achieve peak carbon and carbon neutrality targets on schedule.”

China first launched concerted efforts to suppress its cryptocurrency market in late 2017, with a ban on initial coin offerings (ICO) as well as domestic online exchanges.