Sichuan Should Work to Remain Attractive to Crypto Mining: Policy Advisor

Wolfie Zhao
Oct 28, 2019 at 09:00 UTC
Updated Oct 28, 2019 at 09:52 UTC
news

China’s Sichuan province – a major bitcoin mining hub – should further study how to remain attractive to the crypto industry, according to a local politician.

As reported by the local party mouthpiece Sichuan Daily on Monday, the Sichuan Decision-Making Consulting Committee, a government-backed think tank, hosted a meeting on Sunday to discuss topics around the province’s future high-quality developments.

During the meeting, Yang Jiang, a former vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission and now a member of the think tank, said the combination of bitcoin, blockchain and excessive hydro energy in Sichuan should create more business opportunities in the region. The comment comes amid local authorities’ continuous probe into bitcoin mining sites in Sichuan that are allegedly built without appropriate procedure.

Jiang added that currently 70 percent of all bitcoin gets mined in Sichuan, as its ample and cheap hydro power has been historically attractive to bitcoin miners. Although Jiang didn’t explain the source of the 70 percent data, blockchain startup Coinshare estimated that, as of June this year, over half of the bitcoin mining power is located in Sichuan.

“Blockchain can be involved in every industry. Its main application in the financial sector is digital currency with bitcoin as a key example,” Jiang was quoted as telling the committee members, adding that bitcoin mining requires cooling and computing, making it an energy-intense industry.

As such, Jiang suggested to the think tank that Sichuan should dedicate efforts to further study how Sichuan’s plentiful hydro-energy can maintain its attractiveness to digital currency-related industries in an aim to explore new economic opportunity and growth force.

Jiang is also currently a member of the China People’s Political Consultative Conference, which is a central-level political legislative advisory body consisting of prominent figures in the political and business sector.

Although Jiang’s comment serves as a recommendation and will not necessarily lead to any policy change, it came just days after members of the Committee hosted a seminar in Sichuan’s capital Chengdu discussing how to better utilize excessive energy in Sichuan for digital economy while transforming bitcoin mining into a more professional data center business.

This is also not the first time that Jiang voiced support for the crypto mining industry. While serving as the vice chairman of the China’s Securities Regulatory Commission, Jiang did a study and research tour to the office of Avalon bitcoin miner maker Canaan and voiced support for the idea of Canaan going public in mainland China.

Mining farm image via Shutterstock