Antpool, the largest bitcoin mining pool by hashrate, said it will block internet access from mainland China to comply with Chinese government regulations on crypto mining activities.
The ban will exclude Hong Kong and Taiwan, according to an announcement posted on the Antpool website.
The mining pool, which holds more than 17% of total bitcoin hashrate share, said that it will also deploy its know-your-customer (KYC) user authentication system to comply with laws and regulations of countries around the world.
Antpool noted that it completed the legal procedures for its spinoff from Bitmain at the beginning of May. The “new Antpool” has no plans to establish an operating entity in mainland China and is in the process of building a new business and management team with Singapore as its headquarters.
The Antpool announcement comes following the news that authorities in China’s eastern Zhejiang province busted an operation that had set up graphics processing units in a publicly funded facility to mine bitcoin and ether. The Antpool and Zhejiang announcements seem to confirm social media posts claiming that agencies across China are screening IP addresses – which uniquely identify computers on the internet – for potentially illicit mining.
On Oct. 10, Bitmain, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of bitcoin mining machines, confirmed it will stop shipping Antminers to mainland China.