China steps up crypto crackdown with central bank warning
China’s central bank on Tuesday warned companies against helping cryptocurrency-related businesses as it shut down a software company for alleged involvement in digital currency transactions.
Beijing has taken a close eye on cryptocurrency in recent months as it broadens its regulatory crackdown on the tech industry.
Cryptocurrency trading is banned in China, and authorities recently closed mines and warned banks to suspend related transactions.
On Tuesday, a Beijing central bank office ordered the shutdown of software company Beijing Qudao Cultural Development, alleging it had been involved in providing software services for cryptocurrency transactions.
The move was necessary “to prevent and control the risk of speculation in virtual currency transactions and protect the safety of public property,” he said in a statement.
The bank also warned organizations not to “provide premises, commercial signage, advertising … and other services for cryptocurrency-related business activities.”
Financial and payment institutions are urged not to provide cryptocurrency related services to customers.
The announcement comes shortly after provinces like Sichuan, Inner Mongolia and Qinghai shut down cryptocurrency mines – prompting miners to look abroad – and follows an earlier warning to banks and to a payments giant to stop crypto-related transactions.
Bitcoin fell last month after China’s mining ban in southwest Sichuan.
China is in the midst of a sweeping regulatory crackdown on its FinTech industry, whose biggest players – including Alibaba and Tencent – have been hit with heavy fines after being accused of monopoly practices.
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