The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has ordered all of the country’s major financial bodies to stop facilitating transactions in digital currency, sending prices of Bitcoin and other major cryptos sliding on Monday.
In a statement, the PBOC said banks must not provide products and services such as trading and settlement for cryptocurrency transactions, adding that institutions should also cut off payment links with crypto exchanges and over-the-counter dealers.
The announcement was followed by a statement from China’s Postal Savings Bank that it will move to ban crypto-related activities using its services, while reports have emerged that payments platforms such as Alipay and other financial giants such as the Agricultural Bank of China will follow suit.
The PBOC’s move follows news of another clampdown by Chinese authorities on the country’s burgeoning crypto mining sector, with officials in Sichuan province, one of the biggest hydro-based crypto mining hubs in China, becoming the latest provincial authority to ban the practice last Friday.
Sichuan’s move follows similar actions by other Chinese provinces such as Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Qinghai and Yunnan, which have also announced crackdowns or partial bans on crypto mining within their jurisdictions.
The news sent prices of major cryptos sliding in late afternoon trading in London, with Bitcoin down 4.5% in the last 24 hours at US$32,746 while Ethereum slumped 5.3% to US$1,984.