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

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 2015 American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference in Washington on Monday.

Netanyahu To Outline Iran Threats In Much-Anticipated Speech To Congress

The Israeli premier’s remarks are a culmination of a controversy that began in January with he was invited — without input from the White House — to make the speech.


Iraqi security forces and Shiite fighters fire artillery during clashes with ISIS militants in Salahuddin province. The push to retake Tikrit is being aided by Iran, which is providing rockets and other support to Iraq.

With Iran’s Help, Iraqi Force Pushes Toward ISIS-Held Tikrit

A local source says that Iran, which has already been aiding Iraq with artillery and intelligence support, has sent fighters to help take Tikrit.


People view a memorial to a man killed by police on Skid Row in Los Angeles. The police say two officers who were at the scene were wearing body cameras.

LAPD Shooting Update: Two Body Cameras, And A Gun Malfunction

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck are calling for calm and patience, as three investigations are underway into the police killing of a homeless man Sunday.


Seattle Cuts Public Transportation Fares For Low-Income Commuters

Low-income riders can now qualify for a program that will slash their fares by more than half of peak rates. But the cost will be offset by fare increases for everybody else.


Task Force Calls For Independent Probes Of Police-Involved Shootings

The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing also emphasized the need for better training and equipment, including bulletproof vests. But it stopped short of insisting police wear body cameras.


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments