The Yunnan Energy Bureau said Saturday it would crack down on illegal bitcoin mining operations in the province by the end of June but stopped short of an all-out mining ban.
Yunnan has started a campaign against the misuse of energy resources by bitcoin miners, according to China’s state media outlet Securities Times, citing an anonymous source from the bureau. “There is a possibility that it shuts down all bitcoin mining operations in Yunnan in the future.” the source said in the article.
To be clear: Yunnan did not say it would eliminate all crypto activities, unlike recent notices from Inner Mongolia and Qinghai province.
While the move will not result in a sweeping ban on all bitcoin mining activities, it would force some businesses out of Yunnan. It is not clear how many bitcoin mining sites would be considered illegal.
The crackdown foreshadows a tougher stance from hydro-based bitcoin mining hubs in China. Local authorities in Sichuan, another major hydro-based mining hub in China, are still in talks to determine a policy to regulate mining operations there.
UPDATE (June 14, 2021, 16:55 UTC): Updated with additional information.