The notice was issued after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the province, where he emphasised the importance of environmental protection.
Inner Mongolia, rich in fossil fuels, started kicking out miners in February and had shut down 35 bitcoin mining companies by the end of April. Officials in Sichuan province, which relies on hydropower, held a meeting on bitcoin mining earlier this month, but did not come to any conclusions about possible policy changes.
Yunnan, which is also reliant on cleaner energy, is the second-largest hydro-power-producing province in China.
The move by Yunnan comes amid Beijing’s continued crackdown on bitcoin mining and cryptocurrency. The State Council’s Financial Stability and Development Committee targeted bitcoin mining enterprises for the first time last month, saying it would “crack down on bitcoin mining … and resolutely prevent the transfer of individual risks to the society”.
China accounts for 65 per cent of the global bitcoin hash rate, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI). Xinjiang alone accounts for nearly 36 per cent of that, with Sichuan and Inner Mongolia second and third, respectively. Yunnan ranks fourth, accounting for 5.42 per cent of the global hash rate.
Mining bitcoin uses about 111.5 terawatt-hours a year, according to the latest estimate from CBECI, more than the total annual energy used by the Netherlands. The heavy consumption of bitcoin mining clashes with China’s vow to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 65 per cent by 2030, relative to 2005 levels, and then achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.