City in Sichuan reportedly orders crypto miners to shut down for investigation

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Crypto miners in Ya'an City have reportedly been ordered to temporarily shut down their operations.

Chinese authorities continue to crack down on cryptocurrency mining as a city in Sichuan province has reportedly halted local Bitcoin (BTC) mining farms.

Authorities in Ya’an City, a prefecture-level city in the western part of Sichuan province, have ordered local Bitcoin mining operations to shut down for examination, Chinese financial publication Sina Finance reported Friday.

Citing an anonymous source from Chinese news agency PA News, the report said that it is unclear when or whether miners will restart mining operations. 

According to Chinese crypto blogger Colin Wu, the latest decision will impact major Bitcoin mining farms in Sichuan, which is China’s biggest hydropower producer. Wu said Sichuan issued a document ordering power generation companies to immediately stop supplying power to any virtual currency mining operations.

According to Wu, the document identified 26 large mining projects and required them to be examined and shut down. He suggested that the latest move will mostly affect large mining farms:

“There are many small and medium-sized hydropower stations in Yunnan, Sichuan, and it may be difficult for them to receive government supervision. However, large-scale projects will be shut down in the short term.”

Related: Crypto miners eye cheap power in Texas, but fears aired over impact on the grid

The latest regulatory crackdown follows a series of reported crypto mining bans in other regions including Yunnan province, another major hydropower-based mining hub. Authorities in Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Qinghai have also ordered mining operations to shutter.

Jiang Zhuoer, founder of major mining pool BTC.Top, said earlier this week that “only hydropower mining farms in Sichuan are left.” 

A spokesperson for the BTC.Top told Cointelegraph yesterday that many Bitcoin miners had been relocating to Sichuan following crackdowns in other provinces, where they could benefit from the region's plethora of renewable energy.  “Currently, we believe 80–90% of China's crypto miners are using hydropower,” the spokesperson said.

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