Another Mining Hub Discovered in China, 190 Mining Equipment Seized
| Iyke Aru
The campaign against cryptocurrency activities in China registered another milestone this week. A secret mining hub was discovered and 190 mining machines worth over $790K confiscated. The raid to discover this illegal installation was carried out in the Jieyang city of the Guangdong province.
The province of Guangdong has been an active supporter of the central government’s stand against cryptocurrency activities. The province is known to be working hard towards combating cryptocurrency activities, especially in the area of mining, in line with the conditions set out by the central government.
China’s disapproval of cryptocurrency activities became very pronounced in the middle of 2021. The country started by banning all forms of virtual currency mining activities, leading to the shutdown or relocation of practitioners in the industries. Later in the year, all forms of cryptocurrency-related activities became prohibited, following a pronouncement by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC).
The nation’s stance on such activities is based on the fact that virtual currency miners are responsible for high energy consumption and carbon footprint. According to the government, they contribute little to the national economy and have a limited driving influence on industrial growth and scientific and technological progress.
As a result of the crackdown on the virtual currency mining industry, China’s dominance in the sector crashed significantly. Originally known as the global mining hub for Bitcoin, China’s hashrate dominance dropped from over 75% to 0% based on IP addresses of mining facility operators.
Although official data suggests that crypto mining has been eliminated in China, underground operators still exist. They carry out their activities in disguise, both by using undesignated locations and the use of VPNs to divert the coordinates of their actual location.
In the latest crackdown, the crypto mining center disguised as an electric car charging center in the city of Jieyang. The operator of the installation used the name of a high-tech company to hire the electric car charging station. This provided the cover which was used to illegally access a high amount of electricity that was used to mine cryptocurrencies.
During the raid, officials discovered over 190 professional mining devices that were valued at over 5 million yuan, equivalent to $790K. At the time, over 90,000 kilowatts of electricity had been consumed by the hub, spanning over 1,000 hours of operation.
This is not the first time that an illegal mining hub has been raided in the city of Jieyang since the beginning of the crackdown. In February, another center was raided, and as many as 916 pieces of mining equipment were recovered. Hence, the latest discovery substantiates the claim that illegal mining hubs still exist in China, despite the extent of enforcement that the ban has received.
The government of China has not relented in its efforts to rid the country of cryptocurrency operators in various capacities. It has deployed various means, including policy developments and enforcement by regulatory agencies to pursue its goals of carbon neutrality and a sanitized economy.
While underground operators might still exist within the region, it is no gainsaying that the government’s efforts have gained significant ground. Efforts from the various departments and agencies have been productive over the months, with significant results to show for it. Whether there would be an absolute cleanup remains a subject for the future.