China Probing Bitcoin Mining Energy Use

Officials in China’s capital of Beijing are conducting examinations of data centers involved in “cryptocurrency mining” to “better understand their impact on energy consumption,” according to a Reuters report.

Although the report refers to cryptocurrency at large, it is well known that China-based companies contribute the majority of bitcoin mining hash rate, controlling over 70% of the network’s total hash rate and consuming a significant amount of energy, according to this map from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index.

Per the report, “The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Economy and Information Technology on Tuesday sent an ‘emergency notice’ to the city’s data centre operators to report if they’re involved in bitcoin and other cryptocurrency mining businesses. If so, they need to report the amount, and share, of power consumed by cryptocurrency mining.”

The “emergency notice” arrives following recent news that Inner Mongolia intends to ban all cryptocurrency mining projects within the region, on the grounds of energy consumption concerns. And it comes in addition to emergency blackouts initiated by the government earlier this month, which likely impacted the Bitcoin network’s overall hash rate.

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