Are Officials in China’s Yunnan Province Cracking Down on Bitcoin Miners?

A circulated screenshot of an official order from the Yunnan Energy Bureau may have been falsified.

According to several news reports at the end of last week and over the weekend, the Chinese government is going after Bitcoin miners in the region, citing concerns of energy misuse and price speculation. However, a new report from CoinDesk calls the source of the reports into question.

The reports, published by BTC.top and Forkast News, were based on a screenshot of a document that was allegedly sent around by the Yunnan Energy Bureau. The document was said to have ordered an investigation into Bitcoin miners’ “misappropriation and unauthorized use” of electricity in the region.

Was the Yunnan Energy Bureau’s Warning Authentic?

However, CoinDesk’s latest report found that the document may have been fabricated. Zhouer Jiang, the Chief Executive of the Chinese mining firm, BTC.top, a company that was cited in reports about the alleged crackdown, denied that his company said that the government was coming after miners in Yunnan. Further, he said that he could not verify the authenticity of the screenshot of the document.

Similarly, Yushan Zheng, a partner at a crypto investment firm, Waterdrip Capital, told Coindesk that: “As far as I know, miners in Yunnan have not received such notice.” Moreover, Waterdrip is involved in cryptocurrency mining activities in China.

Multiple sources reportedly told CoinDesk that the screenshot of the document was fake, and that its authentic source could not be traced. While the document was convincing as a government order, it has some key differences when compared to verified government documents. For example, the location of the document’s official stamp, a swell as the style and size of the document’s title.

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The Yunnan Energy Bureau has not yet commented on the authenticity of the document.

China’s Cryptocurrency Industry Is Facing a Growing Set of Challenges

According to CoinDesk, the incident “underscores the challenges of reporting on bitcoin mining in China as officials ramp up pressure on the industry.”

Indeed, in May, the Chinese government did take significant action to redouble its efforts to crack down on cryptocurrency. For example, the government banned banks and payment institutions in China from providing services to cryptocurrency-related companies. Furthermore, Government officials warned investors of volatility in cryptocurrency prices.

Despite the recent troubles, Bitcoin miners in China reportedly account for more than half of the world’s production of Bitcoin.

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