China’s cryptocurrency mining industry continues to feel the chill from the latest crypto ban, with the country’s top economic planner proposing to categorize the sector as “outdated.”
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce are now soliciting public comment on their latest draft of market access negative list, where the authorities are looking to label crypto mining as an outdated industry.
That means the crypto mining industry could be subject to even harsher restrictions.
The NDRC’s move comes in line with its Sept. 24 notice jointly issued with 10 other authorities to implement a stepped-up crackdown on crypto mining. In the joint notice, the authorities have clearly stated they intend to categorize crypto mining as an outdated industry, in a move to prohibit investments in the sector.
Last week, China’s eastern province of Jiangsu announced that it is cracking down on covert cryptocurrency mining activities, in response to the joint notice. The Jiangsu Communications Administration said it is strengthening its regulatory actions against crypto mining activities and banning miners that operate in the name of data centers.
In the wake of China’s efforts to wipe out crypto mining, many industry players have fled the country or stopped providing services to clients in mainland China.
Chinese crypto mining rig maker Bitmain, for example, is among the latest to take actions to distance itself from the reach of the Chinese regulators. It has stopped delivering mining machines to clients on the mainland as of Monday, and will get in touch with those who signed up onto long-term purchasing plans for alternative plans, Bitmain announced Sunday in a social media post.
Bitmain said the latest adjustment of its delivery policy does not affect overseas clients, and that it strictly abides by the laws and regulations of the jurisdictions its entities are located in.
More players halting services
More than 30 crypto-related companies have withdrawn from the mainland, following the further ban that was jointly announced on Sept. 24, according to Forkast.News’ calculation based on publicly available information.
Some of the latest players to cease mainland services include Matrixport, a Singapore-based digital asset financial services platform founded by Jihan Wu — who also co-founded Bitmain.
Matrixport announced on Monday that it will stop offering services to mainland Chinese users starting from Friday, and that it had already stopped registering new mainland Chinese users since June and no longer supports know-your-customer registrations with mainland IDs.
Meanwhile, crypto exchange MEXC said on Monday that it had stopped onboarding new mainland Chinese users since Sept. 28, and that it plans to phase out mainland users by the end of this year.
“While we can’t speak for all other companies, we have seen a recent increase in crypto-related firms that have either expanded their operations to other regions or have moved their headquarters entirely to other countries,” Flex Yang, founder and CEO of Babel Finance, a Hong Kong-based crypto financial services provider, told Forkast.News. “[We] opened a new business headquarter in Singapore last month called Babel Asia under the expectation that Singapore will become a hotbed for cryptocurrency companies due to the country’s favorable regulatory framework.”
Singapore, indeed, is emerging as a safe harbor for the Chinese crypto industry exodus. The island city-state is already home to many Chinese crypto entrepreneurs and companies, including Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange that was originally founded in China. Other cryptocurrency exchanges with roots in China such as Bybit, Huobi, OKCoin also have operations in Singapore.