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China to block cryptocurrency platforms that allow centralised trading

Bitcoin fell 1.2% to $13,580.50 at 11:36 a.m. in London


China escalates crackdown on cryptocurrency trading

is escalating its clampdown on cryptocurrency trading, targeting and mobile apps that offer exchange-like services, according to people familiar with the matter.

While authorities banned cryptocurrency exchanges last year, they’ve recently noted an uptick in activity on alternative venues. The government plans to block domestic access to homegrown and offshore platforms that enable centralised trading, the people said, without being more specific about how policymakers define such platforms.

Authorities will also target individuals and companies that provide market-making, settlement and clearing services for centralised trading, the people said, asking not to be named because the information is private. Small peer-to-peer transactions aren’t being targeted, they said.

Bitcoin fell 1.2 per cent to $13,580.50 at 11:36 a.m. in London, according to Bloomberg composite pricing.

The Chinese government’s rolling clampdown has roiled global markets for bitcoin and other digital tokens over the past few months. Regulators around the world are stepping up scrutiny of cryptocurrencies amid concerns over excessive speculation, money laundering and tax evasion.

Up until early last year, was the most active market for bitcoin trading on exchanges. It’s still home to some of the biggest bitcoin miners, though they’ve begun looking elsewhere as local authorities call for curbs on the industry.

China’s central bank didn’t immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.

First Published: Mon, January 15 2018. 18:25 IST