Beijing’s Updated Energy-Saving Plan Targets Cryptocurrency Mining

February 7, 2024

By Anjali Kochhar

In a comprehensive notification, the Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission and 11 other ministries reaffirmed their commitment to a dual energy consumption and carbon emissions regulation system.

The plan further emphasizes the shift towards energy saving at a “higher level and higher quality,” in alignment with the development of an ecological civilization and a “beautiful” Beijing. Notably, this order is different from the extensive anti-cryptocurrency laws that are now in place in China.

The excessive energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining has drawn criticism, and the city’s most recent actions show a more focused and strict commitment to preventing such operations. This action is consistent with the country’s goals of promoting technological and energy innovation, decreasing pollution, and expanding green space.

As per the plan’s item 18, authorities intend to strengthen their oversight, examination, and categorization correction of mining operations to “resolutely clean up virtual currency mining activities” by national guidelines.

As China works toward its energy efficiency and carbon neutrality goals, its implementation represents a more focused and granular measure that will probably force mining operations underground or offshore.

Several Bitcoin mining companies relocated to the United States after China’s initial crypto mining ban in 2021.

In the meantime, the United States, acting proactively to protect the environment through the Energy Information Administration (EIA), announced a new project to examine the power usage of cryptocurrency mining plants.

The EIA will gather comprehensive data regarding the energy consumption of commercial cryptocurrency miners under this program, which is scheduled to go live next week, to comprehend the influence of this industry on the nation’s energy environment.

The White House Office of Management and Budget approved the action, which comes amid worries about the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining.

Power planners will benefit from this massive data collection effort as the digital currency business matures and migrates to places with favorable energy pricing and regulatory climates. It also aims to inform the regulatory discourse on energy consumption transparency.

About the author

Anjali Kochhar covers cryptocurrency stories in India as well as globally. Having been in the field of media and journalism for over three years now, she has developed a sharp news sense and works hard to present information that goes beyond the obvious. She is an avid reader and loves writing on a wide range of subjects.

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