China’s Central Bank Declares Cryptocurrencies Illegal

China’s central bank has declared cryptocurrencies and all activities related to digital coins and tokens illegal and vowed to crack down on the market.

“Financial institutions and non-bank payment institutions cannot offer services to activities and operations related to virtual currencies,” the People’s Bank of China said in a written statement released on Friday (September 24).

The People's Bank of China also said it will prevent payment companies and internet firms from facilitating cryptocurrency trading and will strengthen monitoring of risks from such activities.

And the central bank said that it is banning overseas exchanges from providing cryptocurrency services to Chinese investors via the internet.

The announcements are the latest in an ongoing crack down on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that’s taking place in mainland China. Regulators have halted Bitcoin mining in recent months, forcing many operators to flee the country of 1.4 billion people.

The price of Bitcoin fell 5% in premarket trading on news of the People’s Bank of China declaring cryptocurrencies illegal. Bitcoin is now worth just over $42,000 U.S.