Cryptocurrency miners, including HashCow and BTC.TOP, have halted all or part of their China operations after Beijing intensified a crackdown on bitcoin mining and trading, hammering digital currencies amid heightened global regulatory scrutiny.
Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi on Monday suspended both crypto-mining and some trading services to new clients from mainland China, adding it will instead focus on overseas businesses.
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Crypto miners use increasingly powerful, specially-designed computer equipment, or rigs, to verify virtual coin transactions in a process which produces newly minted crypto currencies such as bitcoin.
“Crypto mining consumes a lot of energy, which runs counter to China’s carbon neutrality goals,” said Chen Jiahe, chief investment officer of Beijing-based family office Novem Arcae Technologies.
Bitcoin took a beating after the latest Chinese move, and is now down nearly 50% from it’s all-time high. It shed as much as 17% on Sunday, before paring some losses and was last trading steady in Asia. Elsewhere, Ether fell to a two-month low on Sunday, down 60% from a record peak hit just 12 days ago,
Investor protection and money laundering are particular concerns of global financial regulators who are grappling with whether and how they should regulate the cryptocurrency industry.