Cryptocurrencies have had a tough few months for a number of reasons, including concerns about the environmental impact of mining coins and growing government oversight.
This week, crypto is catching a lot of heat from China, which for weeks has been signaling a more aggressive push to reduce the use of these currencies.
“Cryptocurrency trading and speculative activities (…) pose the risks of illegal cross-border asset transfers and money laundering,” the central bank said.
The lenders included the Industrial and Commercial Bank, the Agricultural Bank of China, the Construction Bank of China, the Postal Savings Bank of China, and the Industrial Bank.
The six institutions said after the central bank’s announcement that no institution or individual is allowed to use their platforms for any crypto-related activity. Alipay has also pledged to step up investigations against crypto transactions on its platform.
The announcement is not a new policy for Beijing, but it reinforces the extent to which the country is willing to go to restrict the use of bitcoin and other digital coins.
While China is not banning cryptos completely, regulators said in 2013 that bitcoin was not a real currency and banned financial and payment institutions from dealing with it. At the time, they raised the risk that bitcoin could be used for money laundering, as well as the need to “maintain financial stability” and “protect the yuan’s status as fiat currency.”
The growing crackdown is also partly aimed at boosting the state-backed digital yuan initiative, which authorities are keen to implement so they can control the flow of money.
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