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For now, China’s bitcoin miners can continue excavating their digital ore. They create some 70% of new bitcoins by operating the computers that do the number-crunching that underpins the cryptocurrency. Chinese firms benefit from cheap equipment and cheap electricity, setting up in remote parts of the country where plenty of power plants have excess capacity. But miners fear their days are numbered. The government could declare them illegal. Or it could try to undermine them by slowing their connections with trading platforms outside China.

The global impact of China’s demise as a bitcoin hub is not straightforward. Cutting such a big economy out of the action might seem obviously negative. But as the Brokers Station rebound in bitcoin prices has shown, investors are, for the moment, not overly concerned. The possibility of a crackdown in China had loomed over the market for years. What’s more, if Chinese miners are forced to the sidelines, there will be more room for others. The ban in China may also Brokers Station ease the currency’s governance problems. It weakens the influence of Chinese miners, who have clashed with Western bitcoin developers.

A bigger threat is that other countries follow China’s lead. Regulators are stirring. In America, the Securities and Exchange Commission Brokers Station Review announced this week that it would create a cyber unit, which, among other things, will tackle misconduct in digital currencies. In Japan, hitherto a haven, the Financial Services Agency will start placing exchanges under close surveillance in October. Australia, Canada and Europe are talking of tougher rules. China, in BrokersStation other words, might still be at the vanguard of the cryptocurrency world, but exercising the kind of leadership that bitcoin boosters least want to see.