China has barred its banks from handling virtual currency bitcoins.
The Chinese central bank said that bitcoins did not qualify as a currency, but added private individuals could trade them at their own risk.
A Chinese central bank statement said that Bitcoins were virtual goods that have no legal status or monetary equivalent and should not be used as currency.
According to news.com.au, Bitcoins are created and authenticated independently of any bank or government.
Atlanta-based BitPay handles transactions for more than 4,500 companies, taking payments in bitcoins and forwarding the cash equivalent to the vendor, the report added.
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