Energy regulators in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, which has abundant hydropower resources, will hold a seminar on June 2 to assess the province’s cryptocurrency mining industry, fanning hopes among miners that the beleaguered sector may be given a reprieve from its recent hardships in China.

Fast Facts:

  • According to a government document leaked yesterday, the Sichuan Energy Regulatory Office has been instructed by the National Energy Administration to hold the seminar, in which major participants will include Sichuan’s power grid enterprises, electricity traders and electricity vendors.
  • Discussions will focus on the current state of the crypto mining industry in the province, and the potential for excess hydropower electricity to go to waste if all crypto mining were to be shut down.
  • Some miners think Sichuan could be the next target for a mining ban after Inner Mongolia recently ended all crypto mining, and following a State Council statement demanding that authorities “crack down on Bitcoin mining and trading behavior.” But others are hopeful that crypto mining in Sichuan will be permitted to continue, thanks to the fact that it is largely fueled by renewable hydropower, unlike Inner Mongolia’s mines, which used carbon-belching, coal-fired electricity.
  • The wording of the document, which does not propose a ban on crypto mining in Sichuan — professing instead to seek to “fully understand the situation” and being “open to suggestions” — suggests that miners’ voices may be heeded, or at least heard, by the government.