China’s Inner Mongolia region has announced plans to ban new cryptocurrency mining projects and shut down existing activity in a bid to cut down on the energy-consuming operation.
The location failed to meet central government assessment targets regarding energy use in 2019 and was scolded by Beijing. In response, the region’s development and reform commission laid out plans to shut down existing cryptocurrency mining projects by April 2021 and not approve any new ones. They also involve reassessing other energy-intensive industries like steel and coal.
Bitcoin mining consumes an estimated 128.84 terrawatt-hour per year of energy, more than entire countries such as Ukraine and Argentina, according to CNBC. Inner Mongolia alone accounts for around 8% of all Bitcoin mining globally, more than the US which accounts for 7.2%.
China is also pushing to become more environmentally friendly. President Xi Jinping said in 2020 that the country is targeting peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by the year 2060.