Why China’s ‘Bitcoin Mining Ban’ Shouldn’t be Feared

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China’s supposed desire to ban cryptocurrency mining was met with headlines around the world and the rehashing of tired tales about how Bitcoin is killing the planet (side note, if you’re a proponent of that argument and you eat beef, then you should do some research). Those inside crypto had a more circumspect reaction however, given that when it comes to China they have seen and heard it all before. And, true to form, what the following forty-eight hours brought was a slightly watered down version of events.

Token Gestures

Boxmining, a well-known face in the crypto world, provided a quick summary of what will likely transpire if the ban goes into effect. His theory is that if the ban is rubber stamped the miners will send in some old, outdated mining equipment to show they are complying. The government will publish photographs to show that the ban was successful, while the mining will continue as normal. He even suggests that demand will go up as people usually do the opposite of what the government requests. This is in line with what has happened with the attempted bans on ICOs and trading, so it stands to reason that mining won’t be much different.

Much Ado About Nothing

The scaremongering headlines were also working on the proviso that the ban gets the go-ahead, which is far from definite. Similar exercises in the past have seen the activities in question get recategorized after public consultation rather than being banned, while enforcement against miners who don’t comply would require a change at the legal level rather than simply an industrial one, which is where the motion currently sits.

Given the logistical difficulties involved in even locating mining farms, let alone closing them down, there is every chance that the tabled motion will either not be passed because it is not in the public interest to follow it up. Or, as Boxmining has suggested, it gets passed but very little is actually done about it.