China’s Largest Ethereum Mining Pool Discontinues Operations

The world’s largest Ethereum mining pool has announced that it will cease providing services to mainland Chinese miners.

Hangzhou-based Sparkpool stated in a Friday notice that it will provide additional details about the suspension. Simultaneously, Sparkpool stated that the decision is in response to China’s most recent regulatory policy statements.

The announcement comes only hours after the People’s Bank of China and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) issued announcements regarding additional crackdowns on cryptocurrency trade and mining. As of press time, Sparkpool is the largest Ethereum mining pool in terms of real-time hash rate, accounting for approximately 20% of the network’s total hash rate, and is closely followed by Ethermine.

The NDRC, China’s official macroeconomic planning body, laid out comprehensive methods for enforcing the crackdown on the mining sector at the provincial and local levels in a statement signed in early September but published on Friday.

Among the various specific measures, the NDRC’s new Industrial Restructuring Guidance once again names crypto mining as an industry that would be destroyed. The Guidance acts as a high-level legal framework under which provincial and local governments can decide whether industries should be fostered, kept, or destroyed.

The NDRC first included bitcoin mining in a draught Guidance in 2019, stating that it should be phased out, but then omitted the language in the finished version.

Additionally, the NDRC stated in a recent press conference that while it has been successful in wiping out large-scale crypto mining activities, there are still operations operating much more covertly, according to the transcript of the press conference published on Friday.

“While the abolition of centralized large-scale mining operations has been successful, crypto mining activities have evolved to become decentralized, small-scale, and effectively camouflaged, increasing the difficulty of recognizing them precisely,” the agency stated in the Q&A.

“We will then develop a long-term framework for optimizing new techniques in collaboration with other government agencies, including those responsible for finance, energy, business, the internet, market supervision, and taxation.”

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