China has frozen the bank accounts of many bitcoin miners according to local media reports as a crackdown intensifies following Yuan’s devaluation.
“Many miners and OTC merchants said that many miners’ bank cards were frozen” says Jinse, a long established news aggregator in China.
They specifically cite a Sichuan miner who they don’t name. The miner claimed that his ICBC card was suddenly frozen on the 4th of June.
When he reached out to find why it was frozen, the miner was told that if they can “provide information to prove that it has nothing to do with black money, you can unfreeze.”
This crackdown is under the auspice of money laundering, but the Sichuan province – which is one of the bitcoin mining hotspot in China – has began a ‘clear-up’ of miners recently.
The given reason for this shutting down of some industrial mining facilities in the province is that they use direct power supply.
Meaning they get power from nearby hydropower plants, which sometime they build themselves, rather than from the national grid.
QBTC, a crypto exchange in China, is under investigation with withdrawals not processing currently.
Another report says “it is understood that there has been a large-scale freezing of OTC transactions on the out-of-the-counter trading platform of Huobi.”
Some 4,000 bank accounts belonging to Localbitcoin like Over the Counter (OTC) traders have been frozen.
“Ms. N, a small retailer, used a Bank of China account to buy crypto on a mainstream platform a week ago. On the evening of the 6th, she suddenly found that her bank card was frozen,” they say.
Other reports suggest mainstream platforms, like Huobi, are not affected themselves as they closely cooperate with authorities.
Nonetheless there has been a mass freezing of accounts belonging to traders and now even miners with many miners selling their bitcoin to OTC traders.
Bitcoin’s hashrate however has not been affected recently perhaps in part because a potential crackdown on mining has been speculated for years with many China based bitcoin miners moving some of their equipment to nearby regions, to America, to Iran, and some even to Iceland as well as other places with cheap energy or appropriate climate.
In addition it appears to be only one region in China where miners are affected with it unclear whether they’ll stop it there or whether China will widen further this very hostile atmosphere to bitcoiners and cryptonians.