BEIJING – Chinese authorities have moved to forestall and handle the risks related to virtual-currency trading and speculation, according to a notice made public on Friday by the People's Bank of China.
"All virtual-currency-related business activities are illegal and should be strictly prohibited and cracked down upon in accordance with the law," reads the notice jointly issued by the central bank and nine other government departments.
It is also considered an illegal financial activity for overseas virtual-currency exchanges to provide services for domestic residents via the internet, according to the notice.
Virtual currencies do not have the same legal status as fiat currencies and cannot be circulated in the market, said the People's Bank of China
China's policies for virtual currencies are consistent, the PBOC said in a Q&A statement, reiterating that virtual currencies do not have the same legal status as fiat currencies and cannot be circulated in the market.
A raft of measures will be rolled out to strengthen virtual-currency regulation. Financial institutions and non-bank payment institutions are banned from offering services for virtual-currency-related business activities, according to the notice.
China will enhance the management of internet content and access, market entity registration and advertising related to virtual currencies, according to the notice .
Efforts will also be made to impose a harsh crackdown on virtual-currency-related illegal financial activities and criminal activities.
In recent years, the rampant expansion of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin has disrupted the economic and financial order, bringing about criminal activities such as money-laundering, and severely endangering the safety of people's property, said the PBOC.
Meanwhile, China will step up its crackdown on virtual currency mining as part of the nation's efforts to save energy and cut carbon emissions, according to a separate notice published on the official website of the National Development and Reform Commission on Friday.
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The country will intensify regulation over the whole process of virtual currency mining and strictly prohibit new mining projects, according to a notice issued by the National Development and Reform Commission
Virtual currency mining is energy-intensive, produces high carbon emissions and contributes little to the economy, according to the notice.
The country will intensify regulation over the whole process of virtual currency mining and strictly prohibit new mining projects, according to the notice.
Banning new virtual currency mining projects will be regarded as a criterion for assessing government performance in saving energy, the NDRC said, adding such activities should be labelled "to be eliminated".
Efforts should be made to differentiate between virtual currency mining and other digital industries such as blockchain, big data and cloud computing, according to the notice.
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It stressed that publicizing virtual currency mining in the name of developing digital economy must be banned.
Power generation companies are not allowed to provide electricity to virtual currency miners, and any form of fiscal or financial support for launching new virtual currency mining projects will be prohibited, according to the notice.