Yunnan warns miners over power use; WazirX faces gov’t heat | The Daily Forkast
China’s crypto mining crackdown continues while Indian finance authorities probe one of the nation’s largest exchange WazirX.
China’s Yunnan province reportedly vows to crack down on crypto mining powered by illegal electricity.
Malaysian police nab members and machines of a Bitcoin mining syndicate.
India’s WazirX is being investigated over crypto transactions amounting to over US$380 million.
More on that story and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world in this episode of The Daily Forkast.
Welcome to The Daily Forkast, June 14th, 2021. I'm Justin Solomon of Forkast.News filling in for Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau who is on assignment. Let's get you up to speed from Asia to the world.
As the crypto mining crackdown in China continues, we're learning of another pending shutdown in the country. The provincial government of Yunnan has reportedly vowed to close down Bitcoin miners that are found to be using electricity without permission.
Forkast.News broke this story last Friday night when we were told of an impending ban on crypto mining in the hydropower-rich province. Yunnan's energy regulator reportedly wants all crypto miners out of the province by the end of June. Forkast.News has been unable to independently confirm that because it is a public holiday in China.
But it seems any miners found guilty of illegal power usage are in for some punishment, and even legitimate operators are weighing their options on whether to stay or leave the province. The news from Yunnan follows similar developments in other parts of China, where crypto mining has been banned outright.
Meanwhile, in Malaysia, police there have confiscated more than 400 Bitcoin mining machines in the state of Penang during raids between Friday and Saturday this past weekend. According to local reports, authorities say eight people in total were arrested over stealing electricity for Bitcoin mining activities. Those arrested at first claimed to be cleaners. Authorities are still on the lookout for the brains behind the operation.
Equity markets are closed in much of the region for the public holiday, but that didn't stop the crypto markets. Bitcoin nearing the key US$40,000 mark ending the day here in Hong Kong, way in the green, up 12% by 4:00 pm local time.
And in the top 10 for cryptocurrency, a similar sea of green, perhaps to celebrate the Dragon Boat festivities here in Hong Kong. Ethereum was up 7.3% During that spot with Binance coin, while Uniswap ended the day up nearly 11%.
And finally, there's this — India-based crypto exchange WazirX is being investigated by the government over allegedly violating the country's Foreign Exchange Management Act in transactions worth over US$380 million.
Authorities say the probe is linked to another ongoing investigation into illegal Chinese-backed betting apps over money laundering. Local media reports Chinese nationals have laundered proceeds of betting by converting them into USDT cryptocurrency before transferring the amounts to Binance wallets overseas.
Reports indicate financial enforcement authorities had issued a show-cause notice to the company, which was WazirX later denied receiving on its Twitter account. These latest hurdles surfaced just a week after we spoke with the company's CEO, Nischal Shetty, and we asked them if India's central bank might issue further guidance over crypto trading.
"One of the things we've seen from the RBI is they've been also waiting for the government to come up with some regulations or guidelines, because if you look at crypto, it can behave as a currency. So maybe we think that the central bank should do it, but then it can also behave like a property or an asset and you want a commodities regulator. So even among the regulators, there's no clarity whether they're even supposed to put in guidelines. They're not aware or they're not sure whether they should be regulated."
Forkast.News reached out to a WazirX for further comment and in a statement was told that should the company receive a formal notice from authorities, they will "fully cooperate in the investigation."
And that's The Daily Forkast from our vantage point right here in Asia. For more, visit Forkast.News. I'm Justin Solomon. Until next time.