The second largest Ethereum mining pool to suspend all operations

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Sparkpool, the world’s second largest Ethereum mining pool, is suspending operations due to the ongoing Chinese crackdown on cryptocurrencies.

The mining group officially announced on September 27 that it was suspending access to new users in mainland China in response to new measures taken by Chinese authorities to combat cryptocurrency adoption in the country.

After the initial restrictions imposed last Friday, Sparkpool will continue to shut down services, and plans to suspend existing users of mining pools both in China and abroad on September 30.

According to the announcement, the measures are aimed at ensuring the safety of users’ assets in response to “regulatory policy requirements.” “More details about the closure will be communicated through announcements, emails and messages at the site,” Sparkpool noted.

Launched in China in early 2018, SparkPool has emerged as one of the world’s largest mining pools for Ether (ETH) mining along with 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 Ethereum’s 24% share, according to Poolwatch.io.

The news comes as the Chinese government reinforced its negative stance on cryptocurrencies, declaring all crypto-related transactions illegal in the country last Friday. Some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance and Huobi subsequently suspended new account registrations from mainland China, resulting in continued service for users in Hong Kong.

Related: Ethereum drops more than Bitcoin as China steps up crypto ban, ETH/BTC at 3-week low

SparkPool did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

The closing of SparkPool comes as Ethereum continues its transition from a Proof of Work consensus mechanism to a Proof of Stake model in 2022 – part of a long-planned upgrade known as Ethereum 2.0. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Ether miners will not have many options after Ethereum 2.0 finally arrives, as their mining equipment is set to become obsolete.