PBOC says virtual currency-related activities are illegal
China's central bank said on Friday all virtual currency-related activities are illegal, according to a notice jointly issued by 11 agencies in a further crackdown on virtual money trading and speculation.
Virtual currency such as Bitcoin and Ether does not have the same legal status as legal currency. They should not and cannot be used as currency in the Chinese market, according to the notice.
Overseas virtual currency exchanges to provide services for domestic residents via the internet are also considered illegal financial activities, the notice said.
A slew of measures will be rolled out to strengthen regulation of the sector. Financial institutions and non-bank payment institutions are also banned from offering services for virtual currency-related business activities.
The notice said China will strengthen the management of internet content and access, as well as market entity registration and advertising related to virtual currencies.
It also warned that the country will also severely crack down on virtual currency-related illegal financial activities and criminal activities, including money laundering and gambling.
China has recently taken a tough line on virtual currencies. In May, the country banned financial, payment institutions from cryptocurrency business amid price volatility.
In addition, the country launched new measures to prohibit and eliminate cryptocurrency mining, according to another notice issued by China's National Development and Reform Commission on Friday.
Fiscal, taxation, financial and electricity support for cryptocurrency mining is strictly forbidden. Boundaries between mining, blockchain, big data, cloud computing and other industries will be distinguished to prevent mining activities in the name of a data center, according to the notice.
Cryptocurrency mining projects are not allowed to participate in the electricity market. Those that have entered the market need to be withdrawn within a time limit, said the notice.