A bitcoin ATM in Salem (United States) .Charles Krupa / AP
The Central Bank of China has prohibited any activity related to cryptocurrencies, which includes payments, sales, mining and advertising activities.
The institution, as reported in a statement, refers to the risks it entails for national stability due to the risks of speculation.
This new episode of the Chinese authorities against cryptocurrencies has almost immediately affected their price.
The more than 9,300 cryptocurrencies that are listed on the information website CoinGecko register an average fall of 5.7% compared to their price of 24 hours ago.
The bitcoin was left at 2:00 p.m. 5.3% compared to the same time on Thursday, to stand at 41,450.8 dollars (about 35,400 euros).
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In the statement, the Bank of the People's Republic of China emphasizes that digital currencies do not have the same consideration as legal currencies, so they are not legal and cannot be used in the markets.
For this reason, it has considered all the businesses linked to these currencies “illegal”.
That includes exchange rate services between official currencies and
, exchange services, the issuance of
or transactions, also of derivatives linked to those portfolios.
The bank considers it illegal not only to provide these services by Chinese companies, but also to provide them to Chinese residents over the Internet by firms located abroad.
The battery of new prohibitions affects both companies and citizens. In fact, the regulator has explained that investments in cryptocurrencies involve legal risks, so they may be investigated by the authorities and they must assume all the losses that the authorities' actions against their possession entail.
In May, the China Committee on Financial Stability and Development, a body subordinate to the State Council, agreed to take measures to benefit the real economy and prevent and control financial risks. As part of this policy, they deemed it necessary to "take action" against bitcoin mining. The central bank has indicated this Friday that the new prohibitions are also mandatory for financial institutions and non-bank payment entities, which cannot provide services related to cryptocurrencies (opening accounts, transfer of funds or settlement) or accept that type of digital currencies as collateral (guarantee) in any operation. In addition,the bank has also prohibited "internet companies" from providing advertising or marketing services for cryptocurrency-related activities.
"There is some panic in the air," the head of cryptocurrency research at Enigma Securities in London told Reuters.
will continue to exist in a gray area of legality in China," he added.