China Charges Official With Life Imprisonment in Crypto Mining Case
A court in China sentenced a former party official to jail for life, accusing him of taking advantage of his political functions. In particular, the official, Yi Xiao, accepted $17 million in bribes and participated in crypto mining activities, which have been banned in China since 2021.
Xiao Stripped of All Political Rights and Personal Property for Life
A former party official in China has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Chinese court on Tuesday for involvement in various wrongdoings, including illicit activities related to cryptocurrency mining.
According to an announcement by the Chinese court, Yi Xiao, a former official in the Jiangxi province, was charged with abusing his political power to facilitate crypto-mining operations.
Consequently, the court sentenced Xiao to life imprisonment and deprived him of all political rights. Furthermore, all of Xiao’s personal property was confiscated.
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Xiao Accepted $17M in Brines and Participated in Crypto Mining Operations Despite China’s Ban
In particular, the court trial in Hangzhou revealed that between 2008 and 2021, Xiao misused his functionary positions to illegally accept over 125 million ($17.1 million) in bribes. Among other roles, Xiao was vice chairman of the Jiangxi provincial committee of the People’s political consultative conference.
In addition, the party member also held the party secretary role of Fuzhou City from 2017 to 2021. During this time, Xiao participated in crypto mining activities that led to “significant losses to public property, national and people’s interests,” the court said.
The court’s verdict is not surprising, given that China banned all crypto trading and mining activities two years ago.
The country, led by authoritarian Xi Jinping, imposed the ban in phases, and by late September 2021, the authorities put all crypto transactions to an end. Within a few months Bitcoin’s hash rate plummeted and Chinese crypto exchanges relocated, leaving the country’s crypto industry desolated.
Interestingly though, China remained one of the largest crypto hubs in Asia, accounting for 15% of the industry’s workforce on the continent, crypto intelligence provider K33 Research revealed in a report earlier in the year. Moreover, the WSJ reported that China accounts for 20% of Binance’s global trading volume, even though crypto trading has been banned for almost 3 years.
Do you think China will eventually lift the crypto ban, given the industry’s consistent growth? Let us know in the comments below.