According to three local media reports, officials in the major Chinese bitcoin mining hub of Sichuan have reportedly issued an order to shut down regional bitcoin mining operations for inspection. However, it is unclear how long the miners will be expected to stay offline.
"Officials from related authorities, including the city's energy bureau and technology bureau, had a meeting and decided to crack down crypto mining operations," local news outlet PANews reported, citing anonymous sources.
A second local news outlet, BlockBeats, has also reported a similar story. According to its report, bitcoin mining farms in the Sichuan region, notably hydro-powered parks, must be closed before June 25. However, the report also claimed that such parks expect an official document to be released today, although they have already received a notice.
A third report on the same topic came from Chinese blogger Colin Wu, who confirmed that bitcoin mining farms in the Sichuan region have shut down for inspection.
The order that the Sichuan government has reportedly issued has likely been triggered by China's State Council statement on bitcoin mining last month. The council said that the government would "crack down on bitcoin mining and trading behavior and resolutely prevent the transfer of individual risks to the society."
Other Chinese provinces have taken similar actions since the statement. Last week, one of the major economic and technological development zones in the Xinjiang province in China received a similar notice, demanding all bitcoin mining operations in the area to be shut down. The park, which houses some of China's biggest bitcoin mining facilities, is mainly powered by fossil fuel energy.
Yunnan is yet another Chinese province where officials recently demanded that bitcoin miners receive inspection. However, in this case, the province's energy bureau's main concern seemed to be over illegal activities. For instance, some hydropower stations directly supplied hydroelectricity to bitcoin mining farms, allowing miners to avoid sharing their profits with the government. But there is no indication that Yunnan will ban bitcoin mining.
In the Sichuan province, however, there has been no sign of illegal activities. On the contrary, the government set up the Sichuan hydropower grid to attract power-intensive industries to utilize excess electricity produced by the heavy regional rains during the Southwestern Chinese summer. Consequently, the region has become a hotbed for bitcoin mining operations.
It is therefore unclear what the reasoning behind the inspections in Sichuan could be. One reason for bitcoin mining operations to be shut down could be that the region has recently experienced power rationing due to an unexpected delay in the rainy season. However, it is not clear whether this would be the cause.