The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, said Friday that cryptocurrency transactions are illegal, saying such currencies “do not have legal tender status” and therefore “cannot be circulated as currency in the market.”
In a statement, the bank said that bitcoin and other virtual currency transactions have disrupted economic and financial order, contributing to a rise in “money laundering, illegal fund-raising, fraud, pyramid schemes, and other illegal and criminal activities.” The bank went onto say that those appearing to violate the rules will be “investigated for criminal liability.”
The announcement also featured how Chinese authorities intend to facilitate the prohibition on cryptocurrencies, such as coordinating departments and strengthening enforcement. The state also intends to bolster its risk monitoring and early warning of virtual currency trading speculation.
The Chinese government began issuing warnings about trading in mining cryptocurrencies in May, and in June, the bank told financial institutions to stop processing digital currency transactions. Bloomberg reports that one major reason for the Chinese crackdown on cryptocurrencies is the amount of energy needed to mine cryptocurrency transactions.
Commentators on social media noted how similar this announcement looked to one posted by the PBOC on September 3. “Don’t fall for it,” Commentator Molly @bigmagicdao stated. “This is the 10th or 11th time China is banning crypto. Nothing new.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SKY NEWS
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