China chains bitcoin
China is clamping down on bitcoin mining operations due to environmental concerns. The country is home to the world’s largest cryptocurrency sector as companies lean on low energy prices in far-flung regions of the country, though regulators now look set to force some operations to shutter.
China accounts for around four-fifths of computer power devoted to global mining, according to US-based research firm Chainalysis.
It is estimated that Bitcoin miners – who use computers to solve complex problems to generate the currency – use around 215 KWh of electricity for each Bitcoin transaction. Miners around the world consume enough electricity to power about 2.25 million US households.
Leading Chinese mining outfit Bitmain Technologies is looking to launch operations in Switzerland, with the company telling local newspaper Handelszeitung that the country will have a central role in its global expansion strategy.
The Swiss canton of Zug has been tagged ‘Crypto Valley’ because of the high number of cryptocurrency firms active there. The Crypto Valley Association, which supports the development of blockchain and cryptographic related technologies, recently launched a code of conduct for initial coin offerings to bring clarity and confidence to the rapidly-growing asset class.
“The growth in popularity of decentralised applications and ecosystems, often launched as so-called ICOs, has caught the attention of regulators worldwide who want to be technology friendly, but also wish to understand the risks associated with the issuing, selling and transferring of tokens by clarifying their function, as well as their legal and tax status,” says Luka Müller, head of the CVA’s policy and regulatory working group.
Image: Bitmain Technologies