Advertisement
News by VICE

Beijing really wants to kick bitcoin out of China

The government is about to completely block citizens from buying and trading cryptocurrencies.

by David Gilbert
Jan 15 2018, 1:15pm

Getty Images

Chinese authorities are attempting to completely block citizens from buying and trading cryptocurrencies, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Until early last year China was the global hub for bitcoin trading and mining, however Beijing has recently sought to limit its economy’s exposure to digital currencies, banning initial coin offerings, shutting down local exchanges and mulling a ban on bitcoin mining operations.

According to Bloomberg sources, the government will block domestic access to homegrown and offshore services that enable centralized trading, though it remains unclear how authorities will define such platforms.

Online platforms and mobile apps offer exchange-like services that allow Chinese citizens to circumvent a ban already in place against local exchanges.

The new policies will also target individuals and companies who provide access to market-making, settlement and clearing services for centralized trading.

Small peer-to-peer payment systems are not being targeted, however. This means individuals will still be able to trade with each other — just not through a centralized system.

The price of bitcoin has fluctuated wildly over the past month. Suggestions last week that South Korea may ban cryptocurrency trading briefly wiped $2,000 off the value of the bitcoin.

On Monday, the price of bitcoin spiked from $13,250 to more than $14,000 following news of China’s clampdown, suggesting the market has acclimatized to Beijing’s attempts to undermine the cryptocurrency industry.