Sparkpool, the world’s second-largest Ethereum mining pool, has seized all of its operations owing to China’s escalating crypto crackdown.
In reaction to Chinese authorities launching additional efforts to fight crypto adoption in the nation, the mining pool formally declared on September 27 that it has suspended access to new users in mainland China.
Following the initial restrictions imposed last Friday, Sparkpool will continue to stop services and will suspend current mining pool users in China and abroad on September 30.
The changes are intended to safeguard the safety of users’ assets in response to “regulatory policy requirements,” according to the notice. “More information regarding the downtime will be distributed via announcements, emails, and in-site messages,” Sparkpool said.
SparkPool, which began operations in China in early 2018, has grown to become one of the world’s largest mining pools for Ether (ETH), alongside Ethermine, the world’s largest Ethereum mining pool.
According to Poolwatch.io, SparkPool’s mining power accounts for 22 percent of Ethereum’s global hashrate at the time of writing, slightly less than Ethermine’s 24 percent.
The announcement comes as China’s government reaffirms its anti-crypto stance, declaring all crypto-related transactions illegal in the country last Friday.
Some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Binance and Huobi, have reportedly halted new account registrations from mainland China while continuing to service consumers in Hong Kong.
The closure of SparkPool comes as Ethereum continues its transition from a proof-of-work consensus mechanism to a proof-of-stake model in 2022, as part of the long-awaited Ethereum 2.0 upgrade.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Ether miners will be limited in their options once Ethereum 2.0 is released, as their current mining equipment will become obsolete.