Nation & World News

China Bans Bitcoin Trading By Banks

By Bill Chappell on December 5th, 2013

China says banks in the country are no longer allowed to trade in Bitcoin, the digital currency whose value has sharply risen this year. Chinese citizens, however, are not forbidden from using the currency.

The Bitcoin exchange rate took a hit following Thursday’s news from China’s central bank.

From Shanghai, NPR’s Frank Langfitt filed this report for our Newscast unit:

“China is the world’s biggest market for Bitcoin and has helped drive its explosive appreciation this year. Today, though, the People’s Bank of China appeared to prick the Bitcoin bubble here.

“China’s central bank said Bitcoin is unsafe because it has few controls and makes it easier to launder money and finance terrorism.

“The bank said: ‘It does not have the legal status of a currency, and it cannot and moreover should not be allowed to circulate in the market as a currency.’ ”

Frank says that after the central bank issued its ban, “the price of Bitcoin fell from a daily high of about $1,240 to about $920, according to BTC China, a Bitcoin trading platform here.”

The Bitcoin currency is unregulated and can easily cross international borders. Its lack of ties to a banking system give Bitcoin a degree of anonymity that has led critics to say it eases transactions in the drug trade and other illegal markets.

As Reuters reports, “Chinese nationals are major participants in the [Bitcoin] market and hold an outsized share of the total number of Bitcoins in circulation. Shanghai-based BTC China has recently become the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange by volume.”

A Utah couple, Austin Craig and Beccy Bingham-Craig, recently tested the spreading acceptance of Bitcoin by using it to conduct all of their transactions in the U.S. and abroad for more than 100 days. On WBUR’s Here & Now, Austin Craig describes one of their first purchases:

“I have a cousin that’s a dentist, and I had a toothache right before we were leaving on our trip. So he agreed to see me, and I set him up to take Bitcoin. And then a couple days ago he called me, and he was like, ‘So, I haven’t cashed in my Bitcoin, and I just checked the balance and it’s really high now.’ ”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

President Obama is renaming Alaska's Mt. McKinley in an effort to strengthen cooperation between the Federal Government and Alaska Native tribes. The peak is returning to its traditional Alaska Native name, Dinali.

Obama Renaming Continent’s Highest Peak From Mt. McKinley To Denali

Efforts to change the mountain’s name back to Denali date back to 1975. The White House says changing the name back “recognizes the sacred status of Denali to generations of Alaska Natives.”


China Arrests Nearly 200 Over ‘Online Rumors’

The rumors ranged from a man leaping to his death in Beijing over stock losses to highly inflated death tolls in the Tianjin industrial blasts.


Workers wrap protective materials around a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis as they prepare to move the sculpture on the University of Texas campus in Austin, on Sunday.

Jefferson Davis Statue Comes Down At University of Texas

The larger-than-life sculpture of the president of the Confederacy was removed after an appeal to block the move was rejected last week.


Inspektor Jan Gieber of Austrian police shows the inside of the large van outside the police station in Braunau, Upper Austria, on Sunday, where the children were found among 26 migrants trying to reach Europe.

Refugee Children Rescued In Austria Reportedly Disappear From Hospital

The three Syrian children, aged 5 and 6, were near death from dehydration when they were discovered by police in the back of a minivan on Saturday.


This undated photo provided by the Harris County Sheriff's Office on Saturday shows Shannon J. Miles. Prosecutors in Texas are charging the 30-year-old man with capital murder in the killing of Darren Goforth, a sheriff's deputy who was gunned down from behind while filling up his patrol car at a suburban Houston gas station.

Motive Still Sought In Fatal Shooting Of Texas Sheriff’s Deputy

Authorities have charged 30-year-old Shannon J. Miles in the “execution-style” murder of Deputy Darren Goforth, but investigators have yet to make public any motive for the killing.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments