Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has suspended bitcoin mining services and sales of mining equipment in mainland China. The move comes on the heels of a government crackdown on crypto mining in the country.
Huobi thus has become one of the first Chinese-founded platforms to halt its miner hosting operations.
“In order to be more focused on the expansion of our overseas presence, we will currently suspend provision of related services for new users in mainland China. For existing users, updated information and details will be announced shortly,” a spokeswoman at Huobi told the South China Morning Post on Monday.
The company separately announced that while its hosting services on its mining cloud platform have been suspended, the mining pool it manages (Huobi.pool) is continuing normal operations.
The Chinese government banned financial transactions of bitcoin and other tokens in 2019, but cryptocurrency mining farms in Inner Mongolia, Sichuan, Xinjiang and other mainland locations have still been operating.
However, on Friday China’s Financial Stability and Development Committee announced it will “crack down on bitcoin mining and trading behavior, and resolutely prevent the transfer of individual risks to the society.”
According to estimates by the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, China has the world’s largest cryptocurrency mining location, which accounts for 65% of the global bitcoin hash rate (a measurement of computational power used in a mining network).
Energy consumption in the country is expected to peak in 2024 at 297 terawatt-hours. That’s more than the energy used by Italy’s entire population in 2016.
The industry consumed about 121 terawatt-hours a year, or nearly 0.5% of the world’s energy production, as estimated by Cambridge University.
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