14:21 GMT +319 August 2018
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    Pedestrians walk past ATM machines (L and R) for digital currency Bitcoin in Hong Kong on December 18, 2017

    Chinese Regulator Reportedly Orders Crackdown on Bitcoin Mining

    © AFP 2018 / Anthony WALLACE
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    In an effort to contain financial risks, Chinese regulators have reportedly issued a notice to local governments, ordering them to make it more difficult for Bitcoin miners to operate in the country.

    A Chinese watchdog for internet financial risk has reportedly ordered local governments to implement measures to limit Bitcoin mining in the country. 

    On Friday, a tweet was posted online which appears to show a notice from China's Internet Financial Risk Special Rectification Work Leadership Team Office, the country's online financial risk regulator. 

    ​The order requests that local governments gradually force Bitcoin miners out of the business. Measures which local authorities are instructed to use include control of the power supply to Bitcoin mines, as well laws regarding tax, land use and environmental protection.

    More than two-thirds of the world's processing power devoted to bitcoin mining is located in China, but authorities there want to clamp down on the sector. They fear that cryptocurrencies are used as a tool for speculation and thereby fuel financial risk. In addition, it is feared they may be used to finance illegal activities including money laundering. 

    ​Earlier this year, China banned mainland residents from trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on exchanges. In June, it was reported that several Bitcoin mining companies had been shut down or relocated in Mabian Yi Autonomous County, home to a prosperous mining industry in southwest China's Sichuan province.

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    watchdog, regulators, financial regulator, mining, internet, bitcoin, China
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