China doesn’t seem to letting up in its war against cryptocurrency. The country’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), recently summoned several major banks and payment firms and pushed them to take stronger action against cryptocurrency trading, the BBC reported.
The banks were directed to abstain from providing products or services like trading, clearing and settlement for cryptocurrency transactions. Hence, the central bank echoed the stance adopted by three key Chinese industry bodies last month.
The Agricultural Bank of China, the country’s third-largest lender by assets, said it would comply, as did China’s Postal Savings Bank. Alipay, which is owned by embattled Jack Ma-founded Ant Group, said it would establish a monitoring system to detect illegal cryptocurrency transactions.
Any hope that Beijing would ease off its crackdown is quickly fading away. Crypto-mining is being progressively banned or shut down in provinces across China, the latest being Sichuan. The southwestern province has been ranked the second biggest bitcoin mining hub in the country, according to University of Cambridge data.
Is the global honeymoon for cryptocurrency finally coming to an end? Even in the West, the institutional view of cryptocurrency has ranged from ambivalence to outright disapproval. It hasn’t helped that even maverick crypto-enthusiasts like Elon Musk are now couching their support in conditional terms.