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China Goes Hard On Cryptocurrencies and Their Users

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The People's Bank of China has urged institutions to promptly cut payment channels for cryptocurrency trading, urging them to crack down harder on cryptocurrency trading, also advises other financial institutions not to provide other crypto-related financial services. The People's Bank of China's meeting with institutions including Agricultural Bank of China (AgBank), China Construction Bank (CCB), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Postal Savings Bank of China and Alipay came after China's State Council vowed to crack down on bitcoin trading and mining.

The bank further urged institutions to launch thorough checks on clients' accounts to identify those involved in cryptocurrency transactions, and promptly cut their payment channels.

"Speculative trading in virtual currencies roils economic and financial order, spawns the risks of criminal activities such as illegal asset transfers and money laundering, and endangers people's wealth," the PBOC said in a statement.

After the central bank's notice, AgBank, ICBC, CCB and Alipay all released separate statements saying they would conduct due diligence on clients to root out illegal crypto-related activities and shut down suspicious accounts. As China ramped up its campaign against cryptocurrencies in recent weeks, bans on crypto mining have been issued in major bitcoin mining hubs, including Sichuan, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia.

China has also blocked a slew of cryptocurrency-related social media accounts and barred the search for major cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance and Huobi on baidu.com and Twitter-like platform Weibo.

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