CEO’s plea to China: Spare crypto mining fuelled by clean energy – Al Jazeera English

CEO’s plea to China: Spare crypto mining fuelled by clean energy – Al Jazeera English

Crypto miners help create jobs, contribute to fiscal coffers and prefer to be in areas with energy oversupply, CEO says.

A major Chinese maker of Bitcoin mining machines argued against an indiscriminate crackdown on cryptocurrency mining in China, saying the business helps make better use of electricity and contributes to employment and the local economy.

Zhang Nangeng, CEO of Nasdaq-listed Canaan Inc, told an earnings conference call that although crypto mining activities using fossil-fuel power hampers Beijing’s green efforts, those powered by clean energy should be spared from the crackdown.

“For-profit miners prefer regions with low electricity prices that indicate oversupply, and likely energy waste,” Zhang said. In addition, “Bitcoin miners also help create jobs in impoverished regions and contribute to fiscal coffers”.

Zhang’s comments come after China’s State Council, last month, ordered a crackdown on energy intensive Bitcoin mining and trading, and Inner Mongolia, a major mining centre, proposed measures to root out the practice.

Energy regulators in southwest Sichuan – a province rich in hydropower – met local power generators on Wednesday to probe crypto mining in China’s second-biggest Bitcoin production hub.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are created or “mined” by high-powered computers competing to solve complex mathematical puzzles in an energy-intensive process that often relies on fossil fuels, particularly coal.

Canaan makes machines, or rigs, to mine bitcoins.

Overseas expansion

Zhang said policy uncertainty is prodding domestic miners to move overseas, and causing some clients to hold off on placing new orders for mining equipment.

Beijing’s crackdown is also prompting some