China Crypto Business Hit by Beijing Crackdown, BTC Tumbles

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SHANGHAI Reuters Cryptocurrency miners, including HashCow and BTC.TOP, have halted all or part of their China operations after Beijing intensified a crackdown on bitcoin mining and trading, hammering digital currencies amid heightened global regulatory scrutiny.

A State Council committee led by Vice Premier Liu He announced the crackdown late on Friday as part of efforts to fend off financial risks. It was the first time China39;s cabinet has targeted virtual currency mining, a sizable business in the world39;s secondbiggest economy that some estimates say accounts for as much as 70 of the global crypto supply.

Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi on Monday suspended both cryptomining and some trading services to new clients from mainland China, adding it will instead focus on overseas businesses.

BTC.TOP, a crypto mining pool, also announced the suspension of its China business citing regulatory risks, while crypto miner HashCow said it would halt buying new bitcoin mining rigs.

Crypto miners use increasingly powerful, speciallydesigned computer equipment, or rigs, to verify virtual coin transactions in a process which produces newly minted crypto currencies such as bitcoin.

Crypto mining consumes a lot of energy, which runs counter to China39;s carbon neutrality goals, said Chen Jiahe, chief investment officer of Beijingbased family office Novem Arcae Technologies.

The crackdown is also part of China39;s steppedup drive to curb speculative crypto trading, he added….

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