No, China isn't soliciting public opinion on whether to drop its bitcoin mining ban

China published a draft proposal relating to crypto mining last week — but the government is not soliciting public opinions to unban crypto mining, despite reports from media outlets and info shared on social media.

China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), one of the central government agencies, published a notice last Thursday that it plans to revise the existing Catalogue for Guiding Industrial Restructuring (Version 2019).

The proposed revision had one and only one item: adding "crypto mining" to a list of industries that should be phased out. The NDRC said the public will have until November 21 to provide feedback if they are interested.

Since the government's release, multiple crypto media outlets wrote reports that suggested it was a sign that China could be reversing its stance on crypto mining amid Bitcoin's recent price rally — a bit of misinformation, if not an outright falsehood.

Here's the context

Yes, public consultations do result in changes, from time to time, to proposed policies within China.

During the 2019 Catalogue update, for instance, the NDRC initially proposed to add crypto mining, along with many others, to the list of industries that should be phased out. It met pushback from the crypto industry and the NDRC eventually removed crypto mining in the finalized version released later that year.

But public consultation could also be just a formality. When the Inner Mongolia DRC issued a proposal in May for specific measures to crack down on Bitcoin mining firms, it only had a public consultation period for seven days, instead of the usual one-month length.