Alibaba to ban crypto miner sales amid Chinese crackdown

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is the next company to wrap its cryptocurrency-related services in response to the ongoing crypto crackdown in China.Alibaba officially announced Monday that its platform will prohibit sales of cryptocurrency miners and suspend categories for blockchain miners and accessories from its website on Oct. 8.In addition to stopping sales of crypto mining devices, Alibaba will impose a ban on using its platforms to sell major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), as well as smaller coins like Quark (QRK).The new restrictions involve but are not limited to crypto mining-related hardware and software, as well as relevant tutorials, guides and strategies, the announcement notes.Any sellers that continue listing crypto miners or relevant products on Alibaba’s platforms after Oct. 15 will face penalties under applicable rules, the firm warned in a detailed description of new restrictions. Some of the listed penalties include blocking stores, freezing and closing merchant accounts for maliciously evading the new rules like intentionally placing relevant products into other categories, Alibaba said.The firm noted that the latest policy changes come in response to compliance issues in listing products and handling transactions.Related: Alibaba launches NFT marketplace for copyright trading“Members have responsibility for complying with relevant laws and regulations applicable to any country of sale. We will keep track of policy changes in each country and adjust our control policies accordingly,” the company stated. Alibaba did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.Alibaba’s move came soon after the Chinese government announced a set of new measures to combat the crypto adoption, declaring all crypto-related transactions illegal in the country on Sept. 24. In response to a renewed crypto crackdown, major crypto exchanges like Binance and Huobi subsequently halted some services in mainland China, while Sparkpool, the second-largest Ethereum mining pool in the world, announced a total shutdown of operations.

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Northern Data to obtain 33K ASIC miners through Bitfield acquisition

Blockchain and high performance computing firm Northern Data has announced it will acquire Bitcoin miner Bitfield. According to a Sept. 27 press release, all major shareholders signed a binding purchase agreement for the entire Bitfield enterprise to be sold at a value of roughly $460 million. Northern Data will acquire an equity interest of between 86% and 100% in Bitfield as per the agreement.Northern Data claims it has become “a leading global Bitcoin mining company” through the acquisition, with the firm gaining immediate access to 6,600 operational ASIC miners. A further 26,000 brand-new miners are expected to be deployed primarily at sites in Canada and the U.S. by the start of Q2 2022.“With this acquisition, we add Bitcoin mining to our three existing businesses – Bitcoin hosting and services, Altcoin mining and Cloud Computing” said Aroosh Thillainathan, founder and CEO of Northern Data AG.Norther Data Management expects revenues to amount to approximately between $210 million and $260 million in 2021.Related: Bitcoin miner Greenidge set for Nasdaq listing through mergerBitcoin mining difficulty surged over the last 2 months from a year low of 85 million terahashes per second (TH/s) on July 3 to a local high of 140 million TH/s on Sept. 21 according to a seven-day average — its highest level since early June. The total hash rate of the Bitcoin network is 136 million as of this writing.After China’s initial crack down on Bitcoin mining, the difficulty to mine Bitcoin plummeted as Chinese miners left the network but the recent climb of the hash-rate proves that miners are getting back online.

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