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China bans financial, payment institutions from cryptocurrency business

A small toy figure can be seen in images of the Bitcoin virtual currency shown in front of an image of the Chinese flag in this illustration, April 9, 2019. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

China has banned financial institutions and payment companies from providing services related to cryptocurrency transactions and has warned investors against speculative crypto trading.

The ban prohibits such institutions, including banks and online payment channels, from offering customers services involving cryptocurrency, such as registration, trading, clearing and settlement, three industry associations said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

“Recently, cryptocurrency prices have skyrocketed and plummeted, and speculative cryptocurrency trading has recovered, seriously violating the security of people’s properties and disrupting normal economic and financial order,” they said in the statement.

China has banned cryptocurrency exchange and initial coin offering, but it has not prevented individuals from holding cryptocurrencies.

The institutions should not provide cryptocurrency storage, trust or pledge services, nor issue financial products related to cryptocurrency, the statement said.

The statement also highlighted the risks of cryptocurrency trading, saying that essential currencies “are not backed by real value,” their prices can be easily manipulated, and trading contracts are not protected by Chinese law.

The three industry associations are: the National Internet Finance Association of China, the China Banking Association, and the Payment and Clearing Association of China.

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.

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