Beijing targets crypto mining in revamped energy conservation plan

Beijing released an updated implementation plan for strengthening energy conservation, explicitly stating measures that will crack down on cryptocurrency mining activities. 

The Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission, along with 11 other departments, issued a detailed notice underscoring their commitment to a dual control system of energy consumption and carbon emissions. 

Beijing, China, requires strengthening the monitoring and analysis of cryptocurrency mining activities in 2024 and resolutely cracking down on cryptocurrency-related mining activities in Beijing in accordance with laws and regulations.

— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain)

This plan further emphasizes the transition to a “higher level and higher quality” of energy conservation, in line with the construction of an ecological civilization and a “beautiful” Beijing.

Notably, this directive differs from the broad anti-cryptocurrency measures already present in China. 

Crypto mining has been under fire for its excessive energy usage, and the city’s latest measures represent a more focused and rigorous approach to halting such operations. This crackdown is in harmony with the nation’s aim to reduce pollution and green expansion, as well as promote technological and energy innovation.

Under item 18 of the plan, authorities are set to bolster their monitoring, analysis, and classification rectification of mining activities to “resolutely clean up virtual currency ‘mining’ activities” following national directives. 

This implementation denotes a more granular and targeted action that will likely push mining operations underground or offshore as China strives for energy efficiency and carbon neutrality goals.

Following China’s original crypto mining ban in 2021, many Bitcoin mining operations moved to the U.S.

Meanwhile, the U.S. — through its Energy Information Administration (EIA) — unveiled a new initiative to scrutinize the power consumption of cryptocurrency mining facilities in a proactive stance on environmental conservation. 

Under this program, set to launch in the coming week, the EIA will collect in-depth data about the energy use of commercial crypto miners to understand the impact of this sector on the country’s energy landscape. 

The move, sanctioned by the White House Office of Management and Budget, arises amidst concerns over the ecological footprint of crypto mining. 

As the digital currency industry matures, marked by its migration to areas with advantageous energy costs and regulatory climates, this extensive data collection effort aspires to keep power planners informed and to inform the regulatory discourse on energy use transparency.

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2024-02-05 01:05