One of China’s largest provinces is implementing measures targeted at punishing block reward miners amid a government push to banish them from the country. The coastal province of Zhejiang is introducing higher electricity rates for miners, heeding the call of China’s top economic planning body.
Zhejiang, China’s eighth largest province, announced the measures this month. It joined other provinces such as Inner Mongolia and Hainan, which have also implemented higher rates for the miners. In a notice, the local agency of the national grid operator stated that miners would have to pay an extra $0.079 per kilowatt-hour.
The agency also called on other government bodies to join hands with grid operators to crack down on miners in the eastern province.
China has already banned block reward mining, with local authorities taking various measures in 2021 to rid their jurisdictions of these miners. Some, like Inner Mongolia, threatened miners with social blacklisting that would see them denied basic services like public transportation. It even set up a hotline to report them.
The hiked electricity costs led many to conclude that Zhejiang hadn’t banned block reward mining, as state-owned broadcaster CCTV reported. However, an official from the Zhejiang Government Service Center made it clear this week that the province fully backed the national government’s decision to ban the miners.
Hiking energy costs have become the go-to measure for governments seeking to stamp out miners, with electricity making up the biggest chunk of mining costs. In China, two provinces have already announced this hike, Hainan hiked by $0.13 per kWh, while Inner Mongolia hiked by $0.16.
Beyond China, other jurisdictions have considered similar measures. The world’s second-largest mining destination, Kazakhstan, may follow China’s lead if the government pursues a proposal floated by the Vice Minister for Finance this month. The official wants the government to hike taxes imposed on electricity consumed by miners fivefold.
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