China plans to ban the extraction of cryptocurrencies because it is a stupid waste of energy

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Chinese regulators are considering banning the extraction of cryptocurrencies as an "undesirable" economic activity, according to a government document released on Monday.

The National Commission for Development and Reforms of China (NDRC) has released a new document including a proposal to ban the extraction of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, fearing that encryption will be a waste of valuable resources. impact. The proposal is available for public comment until May 7.

Crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin are extracted with the help of specialized computers that consume a lot of energy. This energy consumption now rivals the amount used by entire countries for normal operations and causes significant damage to the planet. As the South China Morning Post points out, China's coal-dependent regions, such as Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia, have become popular destinations for cryptographic miners in search of cheap electricity.

It is estimated that no less than 74% of the crypto-extraction in the world takes place in China, a country where it is also the most carbon intensive. According to a recent report published in Nature Sustainability, crypto-extraction emits between 3 and 15 million tons of carbon dioxide worldwide.

China's proposal to ban mining activity is part of a larger campaign against cryptocurrencies in recent years in the country. The People's Bank of China banned initial offers of coins (OIC) in September 2017, but crypto fanatics say it's easy to get around the ban. That being said, it would be much harder to circumvent the ban on mining in the country, as the sole consumption of energy tends to reveal the location of the computers needed for its production.

One of the founding myths of crypto-currencies is that counterfeit money like Bitcoin does not depend on society in general to function. But nothing could be further from the truth. Bitcoins and other crypto-currencies rely on modern infrastructure and cheap energy to stay in business. Once governments begin cracking down on cryptocurrencies, they become a less attractive asset for large financial institutions and consumers.

Bitcoin has become a cult of death for a speculator, given the damage caused by crypto-currencies to the planet. And while the Chinese government is mistaken, banning the use of cryptography seems like a perfectly sensible step in the face of the global ecological disaster.

[South China Morning Post via Bloomberg]

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