China’s Crypto crackdown sparks fears of illicit BTC mining practices as one senior academic called for a coordinated global crackdown worldwide on Bitcoin mining as we read more in our latest cryptocurrency news.
China’s crackdown on BTC mining sent the hash rate plummeting and served to outline the detrimental environmental aspects of the most popular cryptocurrency but the consequences have not been addressed as per the senior British academic. Pete Howson who is a senior lecturer in international development at Northumbria University in the UK said that China unleashed a global arms race in the BTC mining equipment which will bring devastating effects that can be prevented with a coordinated crackdown worldwide.
China produces huge amounts of cheaper hydroelectricity in the Sichuan province which has been the epicenter of crypto mining. Around 70% of the miners were based in China but initially, the mining bans introduced in Sichuan mean that this is pretty much off-limits for BTC miners aid Howsen. The consequence is that the mining pools relocated to places such as Kazakhstan where 97% of the electricity generated using fossil fuels like coal. Another destination is Texas which before migrating, was a major power outage issue with more than 100 people losing their lives. The big influx of BTC miners however expectedly will make things a lot worse.
Miami sought to attract even more miners with the nuclear power plants but Howsen believes that policymakers influencing the moves have not addressed the higher energy prices and fuel poverty that uses more nuclear fuel which eventually will endanger the average Florida household. His research suggests that the mining equipment sold off cheaply by Chinese miners that don’t relocate and will end up being used for nefarious means:
“In the last bear market after 2017, second-hand mining machines sold for massive discounts. We’re now seeing those same machines being used by criminals who steal electricity from the grid in the UK, and places like Abkhazia, and elsewhere.”
China’s crypto crackdown could have happened earlier and the issue will just get moved around unless there is action by governments to ban the import of BTC mining machines and BTC mining that is managed as an environmental crime. Howson’s warnings were legit as the New York legislators concerned about the environment are pushing for a moratorium on BTC mining operations in the state on environmental grounds. The legislators warned that the fossil fuel power plants were shut down previously and are coming back online in response to the demand for power. They are being used with behind-the-meter operations that exceed the previous intermittnent usage and can cause major negative impacts to air quality, especially in environmental justice communities.