Contrary to widespread recent rumors, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has not held an internal meeting to discuss a ban on bitcoin mining operations in the country, according to a report.
Citing an ‘authoritative source’, Chinese financial news publication Caixin is reporting that China’s central bank did not hold a closed-door meeting with regulators to crack down on bitcoin miners in the country, nor did it pledge a deadline to affect such a policy.
The supposed meeting took place on January 3 wherein the central bank reportedly met with members of the ‘Leading Group of Beijing Internet Financial Risks Remediation’, a major internet finance group that previously enforced a blanket ban on all initial coin offerings (ICOs) in September 2017.
The report also revealed the source of the rumor – a WeChat photo message from popular bitcoin advocate and industry investor Guo Hongcai that purportedly had him claim that “all mining operations will be seized.” Hongcai refuted the authenticity of the message soon after. However, another rumor followed and spread on WeChat with a message from media that read: “the central bank had held a closed-door meeting today (January 3rd) to stop bitcoin mining with a deadline.”
While Ciaxin did not reveal its sources in effectively killing the ban rumor, the report did suggest that authorities are making plans to curb preferential treatment doled out to bitcoin miners operating in Chinese provinces. Cheap hydroelectric power tariffs and tax cuts given to bitcoin exchanges, who no doubt contribute significant revenues to local power operators while proving a dependable employer near their base of operations, will be curtailed going forward.
While China is no longer the world’s largest market for cryptocurrency trading – Chinese markets accounted for over 90% of the world’s trading over a year ago – it is still home to over two-thirds of the global bitcoin hashing power, underlining its critical role in mining the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency. However, bitcoin miners aren’t likely to be caught off-guard even in the event of a ban with plans being made toward shifting operations to a number of friendlier jurisdictions including Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Russia and the United States.
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