China is looking to ban cryptocurrency mining, with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) proposing new laws that consider cryptocurrency mining facilities to be a waste of resources and adding pollution.
According to a report from the South China Morning Post, the rules come by way of amendments to its guidance for adjustments to the nation’s industrial structure, including categories that are encouraged, restricted, and eliminated.
The report says that although the new list is under public consultation until May 7, cryptocurrency mining was included among sectors to be eliminated immediately.
China is where most of the world’s cryptocurrency mining farms are located.
China in late 2017 had clamped down on cryptocurrency trading and financial deals away from the central bank by banning Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
At the time, the Chinese central bank said that ICOs were “essentially a non-approved illegal open financing behaviour, suspected of illegal sale tokens, illegal securities issuance and illegal fund-raising, financial fraud, pyramid schemes, and other criminal activities”.
It has since banned cryptocurrency trading altogether, forcing companies to take their operations elsewhere.
While some cryptocurrencies are legitimate, many have turned out to be scams, leaving investors out of pocket by millions of dollars. Many threat actors and fraudsters are also operating malicious websites masquerading as legitimate cryptocurrency exchanges.
It has forced regulatory bodies — and even social media and search engine giants — around the world to wave the ban hammer on cryptocurrencies.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), for example, has cautioned the public to understand the risks before investing in cryptocurrencies, announcing previously it would step in to regulate the offer or use of digital tokens if these involved products were regulated under the country’s Securities and Futures Act.
Meanwhile, Japan said it would impose strict standards on cryptocurrency exchanges that are seeking to register in the country.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is also serious about its financial scam ban, having stopped several proposed ICOs and issued guidance on how to avoid falling into the trap of Ponzi-like crypto schemes.
South Korea however, announced that it would not ban cryptocurrency trading and would increase the transparency of transactions. This is despite the government’s initial concerns about the risks of cryptocurrency and blockchain.
The South Korean government has since raided and arrested executives of some cryptocurrency exchanges suspected for fraud.