China’s trading in cryptocurrency trading has plunged to 10% of the global total – down from 90% in 2021 – as part of government efforts to reduce domestic financial risks, the central bank said.
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), said during an annual work conference that it would maintain its crackdown on virtual currency transactions.
Authorities have been intensifying efforts to crack down on cryptocurrency in recent years.
China last year moved to ban bitcoin mining after outlawing cryptocurrency exchanges in 2017. Most mining operations have moved abroad, especially to Central Asia and the US.
“We have effectively curbed the hype of domestic virtual currency transactions,” the bank said in its review.
Crypto is part of what PBoC called “internet financial chaos”, along with peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms and unlicensed providers of digital financial products.
“All P2P online lending platforms have withdrawn from operations, and the outstanding loan balance has dropped from the initial 1.2 trillion yuan ($190 billion) to 490 billion yuan,” the bank said.
In the past five years, a total of 25,000 cases of illegal fund-raising have been investigated and dealt with, the PBoC said.
Last month, the Supreme People’s Court released a revision of the criminal judicial interpretation for illegal fundraising, adding cryptocurrency trading as a new potentially criminal act.
“All financial businesses of internet platform companies shall be brought under supervision, and business cooperation between licensed institutions and internet platform companies shall be regulated,” it added.
“Financial anti-monopoly and anti-unfair competition regulation shall be strengthened, and market order shall be maintained.”
The PBoC said its authority would be strengthened in other sectors. It would promote the steady and sound development of financial markets, including the gold market, interbank derivatives and asset-backed securities, the statement said.
- George Russell