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PBoC Announces Payment Providers Banned From Facilitating Cryptocurrency Trades




If it is legitimate, a document released by authorities in Beijing will prohibit payment service providers from facilitating cryptocurrency-related transactions, among other stipulations.

Reports from state-owned media sources in China on January 19, 2018, indicate that a circular, titled "Notice Concerning the Self-examination and Rectification of Providing Payment Services for Illegal Virtual Currency Transactions," was released online. 

Specifically addressed in the circular are regulatory requirements for banks to follow; the memo underscored that it is forbidden for banks to offer trading services related to cryptocurrencies, and directed payment channels to stop facilitating those transactions. It called for an uptick in daily monitoring efforts as well, so banks can detect cryptocurrency-related transactions; if found, banks are directed to shut down those channels. 

Sources say an unnamed staff member at the People's Bank of China (PBoC) has confirmed the legitimacy of the document, even though it did not appear on the official PBoC site. Instead, the document was reportedly released by the Central Bank Administration Department, PBoC's equivalent to a Beijing branch, and, as such, the regulatory requirements are limited to that district. However, it is expected that the investigation efforts will likely extend beyond branches located in Beijing. 

According to local sources, banks are also expected to engage in self-examination and rectification audits of their transaction records, to identify those relating to cryptocurrency. By January 20, banks within the jurisdiction of the circulated memo are expected to provide reports on the measures they have taken to ensure compliance to an administrative authority.

Sources translated from Chinese using Google Translate, unless otherwise noted.

Jeremy Nation

Jeremy Nation is a writer living in Los Angeles with interests in technology, human rights, and cuisine.

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