China’s Crypto Ban Shutters Ethereum Miner Sparkpool 

SparkPool, China, ban, cryptocurrency, etherum, mining, regulations, bitcoin, government

One of the world’s largest Ethereum mining pools is closing up shop amid China’s move to ban cryptocurrencies within its borders. 

According to Cointelegraph, the China-based SparkPool, the second biggest Ethereum mining pool in the world, announced Monday (Sept. 27) it was suspending access to new users in mainland China, with plans to suspend existing users in China and abroad on Thursday. 

The company says this move is to protect the safety of user assets in response to ““regulatory policy requirements … Further details about the shutdown will be sent out through announcements, emails, and in-site messages.” 

SparkPool did not immediately reply to Cointelegraph’s request for comment. 

SparkPool’s decision came in response to an announcement by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) last week that effectively banned cryptocurrency. 

The PBOC says this move was due to concerns about national security and the need to guard investors against risk. The bank cited illicit activities connected to cryptocurrency — gambling, pyramid schemes, money laundering — specifically mentioning bitcoin, ether and tether. 

The PBOC ruling also affects businesses outside of China, forbidding crypto services run by overseas exchanges to carry out digital transactions with people in China. The central bank has also said it will work with domestic agencies to undertake comprehensive monitoring. 

Other companies are mirroring SparkPool’s move. As PYMNTS reported on Sunday (Sept. 26), two of the world’s biggest bitcoin exchanges have stopped taking users from China in the wake of the ban. 

Read more: Bitcoin Exchanges Bar Chinese Users Following Ban 

Both Huobi and Binance have stopped taking new registrations from Chinese users, while Huobi plans to close existing Chinese accounts by year’s end to comply with the ban. 

Launched in 2018 SparkPool has become one of the planet’s biggest mining pool for Ether, along with Ethermine, the world’s largest Ethereum mining pool. SparkPool’s mining power accounted for 22% of Ethereum’s global hashrate, just under Ethermine’s share of 24%.