Authorities of the Chinese autonomous region of Inner Mongolia have proposed to close down all local cryptocurrency mining facilities to reduce energy consumption in the region.
The Inner Mongolia National Development and Reform Commission, or NDRC, released an official proposal to shut down local crypto mining operations in line with its energy-saving rules.
Published on Feb. 25, the draft proposal suggests to “comprehensively clean up and shut down virtual currency mining projects” by the end of April 2021. The authority also proposed a strict ban on new cryptocurrency mining projects in the region. The NDRC will collect public feedback on the draft proposal until March 3, 2021.
According to a Reuters report, Inner Mongolia was the only one of 30 mainland areas under Beijing’s energy consumption and energy intensity review that failed to meet energy-saving targets in 2019.
As part of the new energy control proposal, Inner Mongolia aims to cap its energy consumption growth at about 5 million tons of standard coal equivalent in 2021. The authority also plans to cut energy intensity — the amount of energy consumed per unit of economic growth — by 3% from 2020 levels. Between 2016 and 2019, energy intensity in the region reportedly spiked 9.5% whereas the overall energy consumption rose by nearly 65 million tonns.
Inner Mongolia became a popular destination for cryptocurrency miners due to low electricity prices. Local authorities, however, have apparently been planning a crackdown on crypto mining operations in the region in recent years, issuing multiple statements scrutinizing local mining businesses. In August 2020, Inner Mongolia officials considered a new policy preventing crypto miners from using state-subsidized electricity.