Don't let "mining" fish in troubled waters in the name of big data

  ■ Editorial

  As a new industry, it is necessary for public policy to adopt a cautious and open attitude towards the "mining" industry.

  Be careful of projects that claim to be "big data centers" but are actually "mining" projects.

At the end of February this year, the Development and Reform Commission of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region issued the "Several Safeguard Measures for Ensuring the Completion of the "14th Five-Year" Energy Consumption Double Control Target Task (Draft for Comment)" and proposed that the virtual currency "mining" projects should be fully cleaned and shut down by the end of April. Withdrawal has aroused the attention of public opinion, especially the currency circle.

The media recently visited relevant departments and companies and found that although suspected "mining" projects have been transferred, some big data projects are becoming energy-intensive industries.

  In recent years, the concept of Bitcoin has been very popular, which has also led to the virtual currency "mining" industry.

Although there is no final conclusion about the development prospects of virtual currency from industry to public policy, the disadvantages of "mining" as a high energy consumption industry in some places have gradually emerged.

Inner Mongolia, one of the hot spots for the "mining" project, issued a cleanup action, which is undoubtedly an important step to standardize the development of the industry.

  Mining virtual currency is a highly computationally intensive work that requires strong hardware support, behind which is based on high power consumption.

According to statistics, the power consumption of a mining machine with a large power consumption in a day far exceeds the power consumption of a family in a month.

With reference to the International Energy Agency's power consumption rankings in various countries, the current global Bitcoin power consumption has exceeded more than 100 countries and regions.

Therefore, "mining" companies generally "live" by electricity. For example, in my country, they are mainly distributed in power-rich areas such as Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Sichuan, and Yunnan.

  As a new industry, it is necessary for public policy to adopt a cautious and open attitude towards the "mining" industry.

After all, the accompanying problems cannot be ignored.

For example, its high energy consumption characteristics not only violate the current development concept of green and environmental protection, but also easily squeeze the normal electricity demand of other industries.

Moreover, due to the huge consumption of computer hard drives in the "mining" industry, the price of graphics cards and other hardware has risen rapidly, and even manufacturers out of stock have a direct impact on related industries.

  In contrast to high energy consumption, the actual social benefits of its output are seriously mismatched.

For example, the "mining" industry is not only unable to bring local output value and employment increments, but also often defrauds local subsidies and preferential electricity policies under the banner of "big data", "cloud computing" or even blockchain. This has also directly increased the false fire and bubbles in some local new economic industries.

  This reality is not without alarming significance in many places: in dealing with the "mining" industry issues, more public rationality is required, and not to be fooled by concepts such as big data and virtual currency at will.

For example, when attracting investment, we must be more aware of discrimination and strictly prevent some "mining" projects from fishing in troubled waters in the name of big data.

  You should know that some "mining" projects are trying to cater to the utilitarian heart of some places for the development of big data and other new economic industries. If there is no serious control, let them "take advantage of the empty", in the end they will only waste energy and delay. An opportunity for the development of local industries.

  In addition, the high energy consumption characteristics of the “mining” industry also remind more places to look at related industries such as big data rationally.

In fact, general big data projects also require high energy consumption support, which is not suitable for all places.

When attracting investment or preferential policies, the energy cost of the project and the local energy supply capacity should be fully considered.

For this reason, to improve the relevant evaluation system, it is necessary to increase the assessment content such as energy consumption. It cannot be specially exempted because of its emerging industry name, so as to avoid "no cost" irrational investment and investment.

  The development of any industry must fully consider the costs and benefits behind it.

In the face of emerging industries such as virtual currencies, it is necessary to maintain a cautious attitude and avoid rushing to the market before the risks, pros and cons are accurately judged.

In fact, Zhou Xiaochuan, the former governor of the People's Bank of China, recently reminded that for digital assets such as Bitcoin, which cannot be "concluded", "remind and be careful" and "make clear its benefits to the real economy."

  Of course, standardizing the orderly development of the "mining" industry and avoiding its overheating and excessive consumption of energy is not to crack down or "block" related industries, but to maximize its advantages and avoid disadvantages.

In this regard, this clean-up operation in Inner Mongolia should also lead other places to learn from one another, prevent the replacement of real norms with "transfer", and guide the "mining" industry to match the overall development interests of society.