Sparkpool, the second-largest Ethereum mining pool in the world, is suspending operations due to the ongoing Chinese crackdown on crypto.
The mining pool officially announced that it has suspended access to new users in mainland China on Monday in response to Chinese authorities initiating new measures to combat crypto adoption in the country.
Following the initial restrictions made last Friday, Sparkpool will continue shutting down services, and plans to suspend existing mining pool users both in China and abroad on Thursday.
According to the announcement, the measures intend to ensure safety of users’ assets in response to “regulatory policy requirements.” “Further details about the shutdown will be sent out through announcements, emails, and in-site messages,” Sparkpool noted.
Launched in China in early 2018, SparkPool has emerged as one of the world’s largest mining pools for mining Ether (ETH), alongside the world’s largest Ethereum mining pool Ethermine. At the time of writing, SparkPool’s mining power makes up 22% of Ethereum’s global hash rate, slightly lower than Ethermine’s share of 24%, according to Poolwatch.io.
The news comes amid the Chinese government reinforcing its negative stance on crypto by declaring all crypto-related transactions illegal in the country last Friday. Some of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Huobi have subsequently suspended new account registrations from mainland China, albeit reportedly still servicing users in Hong Kong.
Related: Ethereum drops more than Bitcoin as China escalates crypto ban, ETH/BTC at 3-week low
SparkPool did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.
SparkPool’s shutdown comes as Ethereum continues its switch from a proof-of-work consensus mechanism to a proof-of-stake model in 2022 — part of the long-planned upgrade known as Ethereum 2.0. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Ether miners will not have many choices after Ethereum 2.0 finally arrives, as their mining equipment is set to become obsolete.