China re-stresses crackdown on Bitcoin mining and trading during high-level meeting

Chinese officials have stressed that the country would crack down on Bitcoin mining and trading during a meeting convened by the State Council Financial Stability and Development Committee on Friday. This comes at a time when Bitcoin price rode a roller coaster in recent days.

The meeting, hosted by Vice Premier Liu He, stressed that the country will strike against Bitcoin related activities to prevent individual risks from spreading into the whole society. The meeting also noted that China should safeguard “stable operation” of its stock, bond and foreign currency markets and crack down on financial crimes.

The committee’s warning against Bitcoin came just on the heels of several Chinese financial institutions’ public statements to curb Bitcoin trading. On Tuesday, the People’s Bank of China (PBC), China’s central bank, issued a statement prohibiting financial institutions and payment companies from providing services related to cryptocurrencies. In the statement, it also warned the public about the risks of cryptocurrency trading.

On the same day, three Chinese financial associations including the National Internet Finance Association of China and the China Banking Association also jointly issued a notice saying that China has banned virtual currency related business in the whole industrial chain.

China’s crack down on Bitcoin trading comes at a time when the cryptocurrency’s price went through huge fluctuations in recent days. On Wednesday, Bitcoin price plunged as much as 30 percent and then turned crazily back up by around 40 percent. It stood at about $38,000 as of press time.

Some overseas media have attributed the Bitcoin swing partly to China’s re-stressed ban on Bitcoin as well as a move taken by Tesla CEO Elon Musk to halt purchase of Tesla cars with Bitcoin last week.

Chinese regulatory authorities had already imposed a ban on initial coin offerings, a cryptocurrency-based fundraising process, and termed it illegal in China in September 2017. The ban had triggered an instant 6% decline in bitcoin prices.

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