Tianjin is the latest Chinese city to announce higher differential electricity rates in an effort to further discourage energy-intensive cryptocurrency mining, which the country banned in September 2021 but continues to exist in some pockets.

See related article: Beijing banned crypto mining, so China miners went underground 

Fast facts

  • The Tianjin Municipal Development and Reform Commission said in a Monday announcement the city will increase rates by 0.5 yuan (US$0.07) per kilowatt-hour for crypto miners, and will send a list of miners to grid companies to charge the additional fees. 
  • China banned crypto mining in September 2021, which led mining farms to relocate overseas in large numbers. Since the ban, authorities have relied on abnormal power consumption patterns and IP addresses associated with mining pools to locate remaining underground miners.
  • At least eight provinces in China have announced hikes in electricity rates for miners, as counted by Forkast.
  • In February, authorities in China’s southeastern province of Zhejiang, which also raised electricity prices for miners, said the hike was a punishment, not a green light, according to local Chinese media.
  • Crypto miners in China remain secretly operating underground in rural areas or factories, a Chinese crypto miner told Forkast in 2022. Research by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) shows that China regained its position at second place in the world in terms of Bitcoin mining hashrate share after the blanket ban.
  • While China has officially banned crypto-related activities, China ranks 10th in the world for crypto adoption in 2022, according to a September report by Chainalysis.

See related article: China takes aim at corruption in underground Bitcoin mines