Bitcoin extended losses Friday after China’s latest crackdown on cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin, which had already been falling before the announcement, dropped as much as 6.0 percent in value before trimming losses to stand at $42,256, down 5.5 percent.
“Virtual currency-related business activities are illegal financial activities,” the People’s Bank of China said in an online statement Friday, adding that offenders would be “investigated for criminal liability in accordance with the law.”
The notice bans all related financial activities involving cryptocurrencies, such as trading crypto, selling tokens, transactions involving virtual currency derivatives and “illegal fundraising”.
The central bank said that in recent years trading of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies had become “widespread, disrupting economic and financial order, giving rise to money laundering, illegal fund-raising, fraud, pyramid schemes and other illegal and criminal activities.”
It added that this was “seriously endangering the safety of people’s assets.”