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The Central bank of China urges Alipay and banks to crack down on crypto speculation

The Central bank of China urges Alipay and banks to crack down on crypto speculation

June 23, 2021: On Monday, China’s central bank said it had urged few payment firms and banks to clamp down on cryptocurrency speculation, which adds to calls from Beijing for restrictions on bitcoin and other digital currencies. The People’s Bank of China said it summoned significant lenders, which include the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China, and Alipay, the mobile payments service run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Group, to tell them they should not provide services related to crypto.

The comments reinforce the hard line of Beijing on crypto. In the year 2017, the Chinese government banned so-called initial coin offerings to issue new digital tokens and raise money. In addition, authorities have cracked down on businesses involved in crypto operations, such as local exchanges.

China said financial institutions and payment companies got banned from providing services related to crypto transactions in May.

On Monday, Alipay said it would “continue to conduct a comprehensive investigation and strike against virtual currency transactions” and “intensify” its crackdown on crypto.

According to an English translation of a post on the site called Weibo, “We reiterate that Alipay does not conduct or participate in any business activity that is related to virtual currencies and does not provide any assistant technical service or capability,” the company says.

“Alipay will cut its payment service related to any virtual currency transaction it spots immediately. Furthermore, Alipay will firmly remove any merchant involved in virtual currency transactions.”

On Monday, the price of Bitcoin decreased to a two-week low on news that China’s clampdown on crypto mining has extended to the southwestern province of Sichuan, a region famous for its rich hydropower resources.

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