Chinese regulators are mulling heavy handed measures on cryptocurrency trading and while this has generated a lot of negative press and caused steep declines in cryptocurrency prices, there’s at least one positive development worth pointing out.
Chinese e-commerce and tech conglomerate Alibaba may have quietly launched a cryptocurrency mining platform, local media reports in the country indicate. The report about a new cryptocurrency mining platform emerged after it came to light that Alibaba had registered the platform, which is called “P2P Nodes,” on Oct. 10, 2017.
According to a report on Tencent, the cryptocurrency mining platform has already been launched. The main operating company is Alibaba East China Ltd. that has already completed registration process in Nanjing. It is not clear from the report whether the platform has officially begun registering users.
According to one report the mining platform will have some role to play in Alibaba’s online operations while another local report claims that the mining platform will be run as a “third-party” platform enabling users to rent hashpower from the company. Reports also indicate that Alibaba is “very cautious” about the project and that while users can withdraw cash using Alipay, they are currently unable to directly withdraw the coins that they mine, according to the terms of service.
If the report is accurate, it represents an about-face for Alibaba, whose founder, Jack Ma, indicated last month that the company was not going to engage with cryptocurrency.
Alibaba’s move, if indeed is true, will be a significant one considering how China has been increasingly looking into ways to put an end to incentives to mining companies. Earlier this month, regulators began pressuring local governments and utility providers to stop giving incentives to cryptocurrency mining operations, a policy that officials hope will make China less attractive to this burgeoning industry.