RIYADH: The US has overtaken China to account for the largest share of bitcoin mining in the world, according to data released by Britain’s Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance on Wednesday.
China’s share of the power of computers connected to the global bitcoin network, known as the “hash rate,” had fallen to zero by July from 44 percent in May, and from as much as 75 percent in 2019, the data showed.
Miners elsewhere have taken up the slack, with mining rig manufacturers shifting their attention to North America and Central Asia, and larger Chinese miners moving as well, though this process is fraught with logistical difficulties.
As a result, the US now accounts for the largest share of mining, some 35.4 percent of the global hash rate as of the end of August, followed by Kazakhstan and Russia.
Use of Chinese yuan
Binance, one of the world’s largest exchange by trading volumes, will stop the use of the Chinese yuan on its peer-to-peer trading platform, the latest move by major global cryptocurrency exchanges to cut their ties with mainland Chinese investors following an intense crackdown on the sector.
It will remove the Chinese yuan section of its consumer-to-consumer platform on Dec. 31 this year, and mainland Chinese users will have their accounts switched to “withdraw only mode,” Binance said in a statement.
Binance’s origins lie in China, though it emphasized in a statement that it withdrew from mainland China in 2017, the time of a previous regulatory crackdown.
Also on Wednesday, OKEX, another major cryptocurrency exchange with its origins in China said in a statement it had shifted its core business to international markets since 2017 and stopped promoting and providing services to the mainland China market.
Regulators need to work quickly to put in place a set of rules for cryptocurrencies, given the sector’s rapid growth and the time it takes to agree on new standards, Bank of England Deputy Gov. Jon Cunliffe said on Wednesday.
“Regulators internationally and in many jurisdictions have begun the work. It needs to be pursued as a matter of urgency,” Cunliffe said in a speech at the SIBOS conference.
Last week, global regulators suggested that the safeguards they apply systemic clearing houses and payment systems should also be applied to stablecoins.
“It took two years to draft this measure, during which stablecoins have grown 16-fold,” Cunliffe said.
Bitcoin fell by 2.04 percent to $55,698.90 at 5:41 p.m. Riyadh time on Wednesday while Ether traded at $3,492.32, down by 0.44 percent, according to data from CoinDesk.
“Current market cap of Bitcoin reaches 1 trillion once again, while approaching $55,000 and more,” Abdullah Mashat, managing director of a private Saudi retail company, told Arab News.
“Price movement showed again exceeding 50 percent in the past 3 months following recovery from the mining ban in China which affected more than two-third of the Bitcoin network,” he said.