A major Chinese bitcoin mining hub is shutting down its cryptocurrency operations

GUANGZHOU, China — China's Inner Mongolia region plans to ban new cryptocurrency mining projects and shut down existing activity in a bid to cut down on energy-consumption.Bitcoin is based on a decentralized network, which means it's not issued by a single entity like a central bank. Transactions, recorded on a public ledger called the blockchain, need to be "verified" by miners.These miners run purpose-built computers to solve complex mathematical puzzles that effectively allow a bitcoin transaction to happen. The miners receive bitcoin as a reward and that is the incentive.But because the computers are high-powered, they consume a lot of energy.Bitcoin mining consumes an estimated 128.84 terrawatt-hour per year of energy — more than entire countries such as Ukraine and Argentina, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, a project of the University of Cambridge.China accounts for around 65% of all bitcoin mining globally — Inner Mongolia alone accounts…

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