Bitcoin miners are leaving China as strict regulations start to bite
A number of the biggest Bitcoin mining companies are rushing to move their operations overseas as China continues to clamp down on cryptocurrencies.
According to Bloomberg, some of the world's most prolific mining organisations are based in China, but are rushing to leave the country after the introduction of strict regulations.
Bitmain, which is responsible for running some of China's largest bitcoin-mining operations, has confirmed plans to shift its headquarters to Singapore as a result of the regulatory changes.
The organisation has also launched mining operations in the US and Canada in order to tighten its grip on the lucrative Bitcoin digital currency, which has grown rapidly in recent months.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Bitmain's co-founder Wu Jihan confirmed the news. BTC Top, which owns the third-biggest mining operation, has plans to move as well. It's in the process of opening a new facility in Canada.
Along with Bitmain and BTC Top, ViaBTC has been focusing on launching operations further afield. The firm operates in Iceland - where geo-thermal power is inexpensive - and the US, as well as China.
For a long time, China was the world's driving force behind the cryptocurrency craze. However, this is rapidly changing as the country's government continues to clampdown on cryptocurrencies, citing money laundering concerns.
It has also rapidly grown to consumer a significant percentage of global electrical power output.
Last year, China stopped local exchanges from trading virtual currencies, and it's also banned initial coin offerings. Firms and leading industry figures have been angered by these decisions.
But the Chinese Government is going further by working on proposals that could derail bitcoin mining altogether. This is the underlying computing process enabling transactions.
Inevitably, lawmakers in China want to be in a position where they can limit the power and authority exerted by cryptocurrency organisations.
Jiang Zhuoer, founder of BTC, told Bloomberg: "We chose Canada because of the relatively cheap cost, and the stability of the country and policies."