Alibaba to stop selling Bitcoin mining machines, as China crackdown continues


You have nine days left to buy Bitcoin mining machines from Alibaba.

From October 8, in a move that rattled the already spooked Bitcoin market, the Chinese e-commerce giant will stop selling all crucial cryptocurrency equipment.

Alibaba’s sudden announcement came several days after the People’s Bank of China reissued and reinforced its Bitcoin ban, stating all cryptocurrency-related business activities are illegal and vowing to clamp down on digital currencies.
Bitcoin mining machines like this one will no longer be listed for sale on e-commerce giant Alibaba. (AP)

In a statement yesterday, Alibaba said it would delist Bitcoin mining equipment offers from its platforms and prohibit sales from October 8.

“Alibaba.com will prohibit the sale of virtual currency miners in addition to the prohibition against selling virtual currencies such as Bitcoin … which include but are not limited to: hardware and software used to obtain virtual currencies such as Bitcoin miners,” the company said.

Even items such as tutorials, strategies, and software for obtaining virtual currencies such as tutorials on mining will no longer be listed and sold on the Alibaba platform.

Bitcoin fell sharply after the People’s Bank of China and Alibaba announcements, today trading at US$42,000.

In April, Bitcoin was nudging an all-time high of $64,000.

A worker walks along a row of computer rigs that run around the clock 'mining' Bitcoin inside the Genesis Mining cryptocurrency mine in Keflavik, Iceland.
A worker walks along a row of computer rigs that run around the clock mining Bitcoin inside the Genesis Mining cryptocurrency mine in Keflavik, Iceland. (AP)
The announcements are the latest in a series of tough measures from China on cryptocurrencies.

In May, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He told a group of finance officials that the government would “clamp down on Bitcoin mining and trading activity” as part of its goal to achieve financial stability.

And finance and banking watchdogs said that financial institutions and payment companies should not participate in any transactions related to cryptocurrency, nor should they provide crypto-related services to their clients.

The measures aren’t just about curtailing financial risk.

The computers needed for Bitcoin mining eat up a ton of computing power and electricity, raising concerns about the cost to the environment.

China was on track to generate more than 130 million metric tons of carbon emissions by 2024, according to a Nature Communications study.

A technician walks by rows of super computers inside a Bitcoin mining facility in West Sichuan. The facility's 10,000 super computers solve mathematical equations around the clock to produce the virtual currency.
A techician walks by rows of super computers inside Bitcoin mining facility operated by Haobtc outside the ethnic Tibetan frontier town Kangding in West Sichuan. This facility houses around 10,000 super computers that solve mathematical equations around the clock to produce the virtual currency. (AP)

That’s more than the total annual carbon emissions output from the Czech Republic and Qatar in 2016.

That kind of output is also disastrous for China’s ambitious climate plans.

President Xi Jinping has vowed to make his country carbon neutral by 2060, and the country is already struggling to contain carbon emissions from other industries.

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