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China Warns State-Owned Companies To Stop Bitcoin Mining Or Risk Strict Penalties

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China has issued a warning to its state-owned enterprises to stop cryptocurrency mining. It also warned that it would increase electricity rates for companies that continue to defy the ban.

This latest warning comes amid the ongoing crypto ban in the East Asian country. Some months ago, the government of China declared all crypto trading activity illegal. Subsequently, crypto miners and exchanges like Huobi and Binance began to relocate to countries with crypto-friendly regulations.

However, despite the crackdown on crypto, Chinese residents continue to trade Bitcoin. And Beijing authorities are not relenting in their efforts to find ways to prevent crypto use. The Chinese government has also blamed miners for the country’s high energy consumption. In May, during the heat of the crackdown, many large crypto mining farms relocated or stopped operating. Still, some small mining rigs continued to operate.

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Last month, Beijing authorities started tracking the IP address of citizens to check for crypto mining activities. Additionally, authorities in Zhejiang province also reportedly began investigating government employees who were illegally mining Bitcoin.

Despite all these measures, there has not been a significant reduction in energy consumption. This has led officials to intensify their efforts and face state-owned entities.

Authorities Crackdown On Industrial-Scale Bitcoin Mining

According to reports, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) plans to clamp down on industrial-scale bitcoin mining. And by extension, all state companies that participate in such activity. A spokeswoman for the country’s chief economic planner, Meng Wei, said this at a press conference on Tuesday.

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She also emphasized the unsustainable nature of crypto mining, stating that it consumes lots of energy and produces lots of carbon emissions.

BTCUSD Chart on TradingView.com
BTC trading at $60.6K | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

Last week, the NDRC held a special meeting to discuss the crypto ban defiance. And also urged provinces and municipalities to investigate and deal with State-owned enterprises involved in mining.

China Dismisses Government Official For Mining

Beijing continues to reinforce its stance on crypto by going after even government officials. A few days ago, China removed a former Jiangxi government official from his position.

Xiao Yi, a former vice-chairman of the Jiangxi Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, was accused of abusing his power to promote and support enterprises against government policies. He engaged in crypto mining and also took bribes, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

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Xiao is the most senior Chinese official to be punished for his involvement in cryptocurrency mining.

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Bitcoin miners

Bitcoin miner to go public on Nasdaq after $4B SPAC merger

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Bitdeer Technologies Holding Company, a Singapore-based Bitcoin (BTC) mining corporation, has announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Blue Safari Group Acquisition Corp. for a business combination of Blue Safari and the miner.

According to the announcement, the two firms are expected to merge and be renamed Bitdeer Technologies Group, retaining their NASDAQ stock market listing.

Bitdeer is a Singapore-based company that focuses on the cryptocurrency mining industry. The Bitcoin mining company currently has five proprietary mining data centers in the United States and Norway.

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According to the announcement, the transaction positions Bitdeer as a potential disruptor in the cryptocurrency mining sector. As chairman and creator of Bitdeer, Jihan Wu will continue to lead the combined organization following the conclusion of the transaction. While commenting on the transaction, Wu expressed his excitement about the two organizations coming together. He further added:

“As a leader in crypto mining, we will continue to solidify our leading position in the crypto mining space. Today marks a significant milestone for Bitdeer, and we strive to create value for our broader group of stakeholders in the future, including our clients, employees and shareholders.”

The announcement claims that following the transaction, Bitdeer has an implied corporate value of around $4 billion. The proposed merger has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, and it is anticipated to be completed in the first quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory clearances, shareholder approval for the transaction, and other customary closing conditions being met.

The transaction is yet another instance of a large corporation entering the Bitcoin mining space since Greenidge announced its agreement to merge with customer and technical support solutions provider Support.com on Sept. 13.

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Bitcoin Mining Vs. The World: BTC Leads Sustainable Energy

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Recent reports show that Bitcoin mining uses great amounts of renewable energy due to economic incentives. This turn of events raised their numbers of sustainable power mix to almost three times higher than the world average.

As renewable energy offers low costs, bitcoin miners, who had to spend 68.42% of their total income to purchase electricity, have upscaled their efficient use of green energy. A recent data review shows how their mix of sustainable energy is higher than any country or industry.

Bitcoin mining
Bitcoin mining sustainable power mix estimated in 58% – Source: Arcane Research

Renewable energy is not flexible and their locations do not tend to be convenient for most people. As bitcoin miners move close to sources of energy to lower the costs, they are a viable solution to not waste the sustainable energy that otherwise would be deployed, as explained by CoinShares.

According to a survey carried by the Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC), the electricity mix used by bitcoin miners increased 3% from second-quarter to an approximate of 57.7% sustainable in third-quarter 2021 “making it one of the most sustainable industries globally.”

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MicroStrategy’s CEO Michael Saylor had stated earlier that the Bitcoin Mining Council’s effort to bring clarity and transparency over Bitcoin mining will most likely “play an important role in demystifying” the industry.

Furthermore, a whitepaper by the Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative from earlier this year had explained how bitcoin mining, when using renewable energy, “is especially suited to accelerate the energy transition” towards a cleaner electricity grid:

With bitcoin mining integrated into a solar system, (…) energy providers – whether utilities or independent entities – would have the ability to play the arbitrage between electricity prices and bitcoin prices, as well as potentially sell the “surplus” solar and supply almost all grid power demands without lowering profitability.

China’s Ban Impact On Bitcoin Mining

Digiconomist data shows that China’s ban of all Bitcoin mining activities dropped the total amount of “active computational power in the network” by 50%. The reduction of mining competition also generated higher levels of income for active miners worldwide.

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Torbjørn Bull Jenssen CEO of Arcane commented earlier:

As China is turning away from bitcoin mining, the mining industry as a whole is becoming increasingly green and a driver for renewable energy around the world. Now is excellent timing for Arcane to enter into this segment, (…) Mining is a very interesting business stand alone, and it also has considerable synergies towards our other investments and business. I am looking forward to finalizing the strategy for Arcane Green Data and presenting it in more detail for our partners and investors.

In a wider panorama of energy usage by Bitcoin miners, Square funds a solar-powered facility for bitcoin mining, El Salvador explores the viability of using volcanic renewable power for mining bitcoin, and other countries propose economic incentives for bitcoin miners who use renewable energy.

CoinShare stated in June’s report that bitcoin’s network is “more renewables-driven than almost every other large-scale industry in the world.”

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Bitcoin trading at $60,618 in the daily chart | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

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CoinMarketCap hack leaves 3.1 million email addresses compromised

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  • A recent hack on the crypto tracking service, CoinMarketCap, leaves 3.1 million users’ email addresses exposed. 
  • CoinMarketCap announced that the breach did not come from its servers. It continues to encourage users to employ reasonable cybersecurity measures.

A report from Have I Been Pwned on October 23 revealed a CoinMarketCap hack that happened earlier in the month. According to the website, 3.1 million addresses of CoinMarketCap users were on trade-in wanting hacking platforms. The website dates the hack back to October 12, with involved parties and the hacking method used still unknown. 

CoinMarketCap is the leading crypto price tracker, recently purchased by Binance exchange for $400 million. Currently, it is displaying over 12,600 cryptocurrencies in the market and still growing. Additionally, it indicates their trading volumes, value rise or drop, significant graphs, a detailed history of the coins’ prices, to mention but a few. CoinGecko is its ultimate competitor, standing as an alternative for the platform.

So far, this is the first known hack on the crypto tracking platform, which begs the question of whether it is safe or not. However, CoinMarketCap has maintained a clean track record since its inception in 2013, ranking this as a glitch. Arguably, the platform is secure considering the absence of any trading activity or coin storage options.

CoinMarketCap addresses the issue

It is yet unknown the primary motive of the hackers and their need for the 3,117.548 email addresses. The platform, however reluctant to talk about the hack, expressed its awareness of the breach. 

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Furthermore, it assured its esteemed users that the hack did not originate from their servers. In its opinion, the hackers may have acquired the addresses from another platform and compared them to those of its users. Furthermore, it stated that this result could be due to users reusing passwords on different sites. 

CoinMarketCap also expressed their regret and vigilance in the ongoing issue, explaining that investigations were already underway. Additionally, it ran a detailed security audit to ensure that all the information it provides would be truthful to maintain trust with its users. 

The CoinMarketCap spokesman rounded up the report by urging users to exercise viable cybersecurity measures to avoid future breaches; that includes having a solid and unpredictable password for every platform they use. 

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It is not the only platform

Have I Been Pwned is a platform dedicated to tracking cybersecurity issues. It helps users to find out if hackers have compromised their data. The website allows you to input your email address or phone number using an international format to get more details. Furthermore, it has a password-generating feature to help you develop the best possible passwords for your accounts. 

Since its launch in 2013, there have been over 500 websites, which suffered a breach. Additionally, over 11.5 billion users globally have their data pwned and pasted. This information stands as an indicator of the rising cybersecurity issue despite advances in technology.

Recently, Coinbase also suffered a hack leading to over 6,000 accounts falling victim. 

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The cyber-attackers breached its multi-factor authentication system to steal user assets. The platform is yet to release information on how much the lost assets total. 

This incident is among the many that crypto users suffer in the current digital world. However, the big question is whether platforms can find better ways to protect user identities, personal data, and investments at large. 

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