The world's largest Ethereum mining pool says it will no longer serve Chinese miners

The world's largest Ethereum mining pool has said it will stop providing services to miners based in mainland China.

Hangzhou-based Sparkpool said in an announcement on Friday it will release more details about the suspension. At the same time, Sparkpool said the decision is in response to the latest regulatory policy pronouncements out of China.

The news comes just hours after the People's Bank of China and the National Development and Reformation Commission (NDRC) dropped statements regarding further crackdowns on crypto trading and mining activities. 

Sparkpool is currently the largest Ethereum mining pool based on real-time hash rate as of press time, which accounted for about 20% of the network's total and is followed closely by Ethermine.

In a statement signed in early September but published on Friday, the NDRC, China's central macroeconomic planning agency, has laid out detailed measures how it will enforce the crackdown on the mining space to provincial and municipal levels.

One of the several specific measures once again includes crypto mining as an industry that shall be eliminated in the NDRC's latest Industrial Restructure Guidance.

The Guidance serves as a high-level legal basis for provincial and municipal governments to act on in terms of what industries should be encouraged, retained and eliminated.

In 2019, the NDRC initially added bitcoin mining into a draft Guidance, where it said bitcoin mining should be phased out but the agency removed the wordings later that year in the finalized version. 

The NDRC also said in a recent press conference that while it has so far been effective in clearing out large scale crypto mining facilities, there are remaining operations that have gone much under the radar, based on the transcript of the press conference published on Friday.

“While the rectification over centralized large scale mining operations has been effective, crypto mining activities now have new characteristics, such as becoming decentralized, small-scale and well hidden, which increases the difficulty on spotting them precisely,” the agency said in the Q&A, adding:

“Next, we will work on a long-term mechanism to optimize new techniques with different government agencies including the finance, energy, business, internet, market supervision and taxation bureaus.”