China’s cyberspace commission in the Hebei province has confirmed it will work alongside other government departments to help crack down on digital currency trading and mining, Reuters reported.
This represents the country’s latest crackdown on cryptocurrency, according to the report. The province will see numerous departments participating, including the province’s educational department, public security department, local financial regulatory bureau, and communications administration.
The commission said in a statement, per Reuters, that it is concerned about the environmental effects of mining as well as the large financial risks.
“Cryptocurrency mining consumes an enormous amount of energy, which is against China’s ‘carbon neutral’ goal,” the statement read, per Reuters.
The State Council vowed in May to lay down new rules against bitcoin mining and trading, according to the report. The state has been undergoing a campaign against crypto.
The commission said departments should check into the information systems they use to make sure they’re not using any of the computing power to mine digital currencies, which is now illegal, the report stated. They should also do more to collect information from whistleblowers as well as the general public.
Come October, the commission will “regularly monitor” the sector, and those who break the rules will be punished, according to the report.
Crypto miners who make use of computers to do mathematical calculations to maintain the blockchains that underpin crypto in exchange for opportunities to earn free crypto have been making an exodus from China due to the new regulations.
Chinese regulators have never been particularly amicable to crypto, but the country has been popular for miners because of the low cost of electricity compared to other places. Miners’ computers make use of large amounts of electricity to make the complicated calculations needed to create crypto.
In other news, crypto hedge funds gained nearly 24% in August thanks to giant swings in the price of digital assets. Those increases helped the funds outpace investors in equities and currencies markets.
While crypto occupies a smaller area of the hedge fund world, the potential return on digital assets has investors looking to crypto for opportunities that aren’t available elsewhere. Funds focused on bitcoin and other digital currencies have returned 145% this year.