Inner Mongolia’s latest draft proposals aim to target companies such as telecommunications and internet firms engaging in virtual currency mining. The Inner Mongolia Development and Reform Commission said such companies could have their business licenses revoked if they are found to be involved in mining.
Cloud computing or data centers could have preferential government support policies they currently enjoy revoked.
There are also harsh punishments for individuals involved in money laundering of fundraising via digital currencies.
Bitcoin mining consumes around 112.57 terrawatt-hours per year of energy, more than entire countries such as the Philippines and Chile, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, a project of the University of Cambridge.
China accounts for about 65% of the world’s bitcoin mining. Due to its cheap energy, Inner Mongolia accounts for around 8% globally, a greater share than the U.S.
Inner Mongolia’s scrutiny of bitcoin mining specifically comes as China tries to go green. President Xi Jinping said last year the country is targeting peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by the year 2060.