Op-Ed: China’s Mining Subsidies Create Tension With Free Trade Rules

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If the only tool you have is a hammer, it’s tempting to treat everything as a nail. Thus, most people in the technically-oriented Bitcoin community treat the specter of mining centralization as a problem to be solved chiefly by technical means. However, a substantial cause of mining centralization is Chinese government policy, which distorts the digital currency mining market. There are creative arguments that China is violating its international trade obligations. Given the consequences for mining centralization, government subsidy for digital currency mining might be added to the list of banned activities for World Trade Organization members.

In international trade, “dumping” is a predatory pricing tactic in which manufacturers from one country export a product to another country at a price either below the price charged at home, or below its cost of production. Dumping seeks to kill off competition in the importing country, so firms in the exporting country can raise prices to supranormal levels.

Something like dumping is recognizable in the world of bitcoin mining, where the advantages Chinese firms have in chip fabrication link up with access to deeply discounted, government-provided energy to produce an unusually strong mining industry. As a result, China’s mining community has a high

Read more ... source: Bitcoin Magazine

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