The Intermediate People’s Court of Hangzhou City has sentenced Yi Xiao, a former member of the Chinese Communist Party and vice chairman of Jiangxi Political Consultative Conference Party Group, to life in prison for corruption and abuse of power to facilitate crypto mining.
He was convicted of accepting brides of more than 125 million yuan ($17.1 million) between 2008 and 2021. During his time as party chief of Fuzhou City, Xiao provided subsidies to Jiumu Group Genesis Technology for crypto mining. This company once operated over 160,000 Bitcoin mining machines, consuming 10% of Fuzhou’s electricity from 2017 to 2020. Crypto mining is also banned in China.
Xiao’s actions resulted in significant losses to property and national and people’s interests, the court said. Xiao was sentenced to life in prison, permanently lost political rights and confiscated all possessions.
China has been strictly regulating and limiting cryptocurrency activity for a number of years. This country has banned banks from conducting crypto transactions since 2012. In 2017, China banned ICOs, aiming to support yuan and prevent money from flowing out of the country illegally.
In 2019, the Chinese government turned its attention to Bitcoin mining. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) called Bitcoin mining an undesirable industry. In August 2020, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) revealed that it wants to block more than 100 foreign websites that offer cryptocurrency services.
However, it will not be until 2021 that China’s crypto mining ban takes full effect. The provinces of Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Sichuan were previously all major Bitcoin mining hubs.