SHANGHAI – China intensified a crackdown on cryptocurrency trading on Friday, vowing to root out “illegal” activity and banning crypto mining nationwide, hitting bitcoin and other major coins and pressuring crypto and blockchain-related stocks.
Ten Chinese government agencies, including the central bank as well as banking, securities and foreign exchange regulators, said in a joint statement they would work closely to maintain a “high-pressure” clampdown on trading of cryptocurrencies.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said cryptocurrencies must not circulate in markets as traditional currencies and that overseas exchanges are barred from providing services to mainland investors via the internet. The PBOC also barred financial institutions, payment companies and internet firms from facilitating cryptocurrency trading.
The moves come after China’s State Council, or Cabinet, vowed in May to crack down on bitcoin mining and trading as part of efforts to fend off financial risk, sparking a major sell-off of cryptocurrencies.
The Chinese government will “resolutely clamp down on virtual currency speculation, and related financial activities and misbehaviour in order to safeguard people’s properties and maintain economic, financial and social order,” the PBOC said.