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China urges banks, payment platforms to impede virtual-currency speculation

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-06-21 20:40
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The People's Bank of China. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIJING -- China's central bank has held regulatory talks with some banks and non-bank payment platforms, urging them to stop providing services for virtual-currency speculation.

The move was aimed at cracking down on the trading and speculation of bitcoin and other virtual currencies, protect the safety of people's property, and maintain financial security and stability, said the People's Bank of China (PBOC).

Virtual-currency speculation disrupts the normal economic and financial order, enhances the risks of illegal and criminal activities such as illegal cross-border asset transfer and money laundering, and seriously infringes on the safety of people's property, the PBOC said.

Banks and non-bank payment platforms must strictly follow regulatory requirements, fulfill their obligations on customer identification and not provide products or services such as account opening, registration, trading, clearing and settlement of virtual-currency-related activities, said the PBOC.

The PBOC urged the financial institutions to investigate and identify the accounts of virtual currency exchanges and over-the-counter traders, and promptly cut payment channels for virtual-currency trading.

It is necessary for the financial institutions to analyze the transaction characteristics of virtual-currency speculation, increase technological input, and improve models for monitoring abnormal transactions, the central bank said.

The regulatory talks were held with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China, the China Construction Bank, the Postal Savings Bank of China, the Industrial Bank Co Ltd and Alipay (China) Network Technology Co Ltd, among others.

The financial institutions said they would not carry out nor participate in virtual-currency-related business activities and would take strict measures to resolutely cut payment channels for virtual-currency speculation, as required by the central bank. 

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