On Monday, SparkPool, an Ethereum pool based in China, announced that it will suspend all of its operations at the end of September 2021. This follows the ongoing crackdown on cryptocurrency in China, in particular, Friday’s ban on all crypto-activities effective from October 15.
In the official announcement on Monday, the mining pool said that it had suspended the registration of new members from mainland China with immediate effect as it slowly shuts down its operations to meet the October 15 deadline.
The announcement which also reflects on SparkPool’s website read:
We regret to announce that we will stop all our services at 12:00 UTC on the 30th of September, 2021. The detailed description of the process is as follows. Please read it carefully and make preparations in advance.
- We will send the daily income details to you at 13:00 UTC, Sept. 30th and then settle your unpaid balance (We wouldn’t send the information again at 7:30 UTC on the day). As the withdrawal transactions require an on-chain fee, only when your unpaid balance is no less than 0.00105 ETH can you withdraw your funds to the Ethereum chain. Withdrawing to HECO chain can benefit from the lower threshold: 0.00001 ETH. Please configure auto-withdrawal in advance.
- The window for manual withdrawal is open until 16:00 UTC on Oct. 15th. Please withdraw your assets as soon as possible.
- Historical data is accessible via our website until 16:00 UTC on Oct. 30th.
- API service will stop at 16:00 UTC on Oct. 15th.
Thanks for your trust and goodbye.”
As well as suspending registering new customers, SparkPool plans to start shutting down its operations this Thursday by suspending existing mining pool users from mainland China as well as from other countries around the world.
SparkPool reiterated that the announcement to suspend its operations is aimed at ensuring the safety of its customers’ assets in response to the “regulatory policy requirements” in China.
“Further details about the shutdown will be sent out through announcements, emails, and in-site messages,” Sparkpool noted.
SparkPool is recognized as the second-largest mining pool for ether (ETH) after Ethermine. Its mining power contributes to over 22% of Ethereum’s global hash rate while Ethermine’s mining power contributes about 24% of Ethereum’s global hash rate.
SparkPool’s exit from the mining arena is expected to have an impact on Ethereum and possibly on its price in the coming days.
However, the shutdown comes at a time when the Ethereum blockchain is working day and night to switch from the Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism, which depends on mining operations and also requires high energy consumption.
China’s Stance On Cryptocurrencies
SparkPool’s exit comes at a time when mainland China has upped up its hard stance on cryptocurrencies which culminated in a notice issued by the PBoC on Friday.Most crypto exchanges including large exchanges like Huobi and Binance have already suspended registering new customers from mainland China and others have issued notices of a total shutdown of operations.