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Inner Mongolia Bent on Cleaning Up Crypto Mining But Renewable Proponent Insists $500K Bitcoin Possible 

The public can now report mining activities in the Inner Mongolia area to the government if they want.  In February, Inner Mongolia requested a complete shutdown of all crypto mining activities. Now, according to information coming out of the autonomous region’s energy consumption dual-control emergency command office, reporting channels have been created to enable “mass supervision and protection” to address what it describes as the cryptocurrency mining enterprise problem. 

According to a part of the translated version of its announcement, the office claims that cryptocurrency “mining” enterprises (including those of them that take hidden forms) are sometimes disguised as data centers to enjoy preferential policies in taxation, land, electricity prices etc hence the need for public support. 

It presents direct phone lines, a postal address and working hours for “the masses of the people to truthfully reflect, and actively provide clues to relevant issues” with a promise to keep the whistleblower and the contents of the report confidential and protect their legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the law.

Situated in the north-most part of China, sharing a common border with the U.S.S.R. and the People’s Republic of Mongolia, the region with over 24 million people has been in the news for crypto-related issues in the past. Inner Mongolia emerged the only region out of 30 that did not complete its carbon emission targets in 2019 in the survey conducted in Beijing hence has been under great pressure following criticism from the government at the centre. 

The region, which accounts for about 8% of monthly Bitcoin mining processing power in China, behind Xinjiang and Sichuan regions, sought to shut down existing cryptocurrency mining projects by April 2021 and not approve any new ones.

Alongside talks of shifting the high concentration of Bitcoin mining hash power away from China, rising interest in renewable energy for crypto mining has been at the centre of the environmental impact that Bitcoin mining could be having globally. 

Nishant Sharma, formerly of Bitmain but now at Blocksbridge Consulting, believes China’s current 65% share of the computing power would likely drop to 50% by the end of 2021. He says the concentration poses a challenge that’s a concern among institutional investors about Bitcoin’s reliability in the long term. Also, there has been a push by investors from other countries particularly in North America to increase their share of Bitcoin mining through renewable energy as the pursuit for decentralization continues.

Meanwhile, despite the crypto market’s struggles with its latest drop, the CEO of Ark Investment Management, Cathie Wood, has doubled down on her firm’s April projection for a $500,000 Bitcoin saying nothing has changed in their view except for the environmental concerns around Bitcoin in particular which has scared some in the space. 

“We believe that even this is going to change because, first of all, right now, the percentage of Bitcoin mined with renewables and hydroelectric power is quite substantial – I think in China it’s over 50% in renewables,” Wood said in the Bloomberg interview. “…We believe that Bitcoin mining integrated into the distributive grid – by that I mean solar roofs, power walls in homes, utilities, merchant power producers, are starting to include Bitcoin mining in the ecosystem. Why would they do that? They would do it because renewables are intermittent power sources… Bitcoin mining could take off if there is excess energy from solar being loaded into power walls. It can be offloaded into Bitcoin mining and the whole ecosystem therefore becomes much more economical. If this happens, we believe that the adoption of solar is going to accelerate dramatically because there is another profit centre associated with Bitcoin mining.” 

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