China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, has announced that any and all transactions of cryptocurrencies are illegal, translating into an effective ban on digital tokens such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The central bank said, “virtual currency-related business activities are illegal financial activities,” adding that such transactions “seriously endanger the safety of people’s assets”.
The move will send shockwaves around the crypto world when considering that China is one of the largest cryptocurrency markets globally. Indeed, since the announcement was made earlier today, the price of Bitcoin fell by more than $2,000 (€1,707).
China has signalled its intention to crack down on the crypto market and Friday’s announcement is the latest move against what the Government sees as a volatile and speculative market. It also has serious concerns about the possibilities for money laundering activities.
Officially, crypto trading was banned in China back in 2019, but continued online through foreign exchanges.
Last May, the Government warned online traders of cryptocurrency they would have no protection, and in June, it told banks and payment platforms to stop facilitating crypto transactions while also banning the mining of currencies.
Friday’s announcement, however, was the strongest rebuke yet, and a clear indication that the Chinese Government wants to shut down crypto-trading in all its forms after the central bank said even foreign websites providing such services to Chinese citizens online is an illegal activity.
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