Paul Ratje | The Washington Post | Getty Images
A bitcoin mine near Kongyuxiang, Sichuan, China on August 12, 2016.
China’s state planner wants to ban bitcoin mining, according to a draft list of industrial activities the agency is seeking to stop in a sign of growing government pressure on the cryptocurrency sector.
China is the world’s largest market for computer hardware designed to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, even though such activities previously fell under a regulatory grey area.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Monday it was seeking 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.
State-owned newspaper Securities Times said on Tuesday that the draft list “distinctly reflects the attitude of the country’s industrial policy” towards the cryptocurrency industry.