China and Cryptocurrency – Lexology

Syed Rahman of Rahman Ravelli considers the strategy taken to cryptocurrency by Chinese regulators.

When Bitcoin’s worth plummeted to round $30,000 final month, it occurred as headlines have been being revealed saying that China’s regulators – together with the National Internet Finance Association of China, the China Banking Association, and the Payment and Clearing Association of China – had launched a report allegedly banning cryptocurrency. The report, nevertheless, was in essence nothing greater than a repeat of cryptocurrency bans that had been launched in 2013 and then in 2017. This article is only a transient examination of how China’s regulators have approached cryptocurrency.

The Initial Ban

In 2013, China introduced that it didn’t recognise cryptocurrencies as authorized tender and that its banking system wouldn’t settle for cryptocurrencies or present related providers.

In the primary half of 2013, the Chinese authorities then outlined bitcoin as a digital commodity and mentioned people have been allowed to freely take part in its on-line commerce. But later that very same yr, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission got here collectively to situation a “Notice on stopping Bitcoin dangers.” This had the impact of banning banks and cost corporations from offering bitcoin-associated providers. “Recently, crypto forex costs have skyrocketed and plummeted, and speculative buying and selling of cryptocurrency has rebounded, severely infringing on the protection of individuals’s property and disrupting the conventional financial and monetary order,” China mentioned in an announcement.

But though China had banned crypto exchanges and preliminary coin choices (ICOs), it had not prohibited people from holding cryptocurrencies. The assertion added that establishments should not present belief, saving or pledging providers referring to cryptocurrency, nor use it to cost merchandise of providers. 

2017: The ICO Ban

In September 2017, Chinese regulators issued a decree through the ICO increase, declaring that each one types of ICOs have been unlawful within the nation. In the announcement, China acknowledged that utilizing high cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether to conduct ICOs was unauthorised and an unlawful type of public financing. The regulators ordered that each one ICOs be discontinued, with funds to be returned to buyers instantly. The ICO guidelines additionally banned cryptocurrency buying and selling platforms from changing authorized tender into cryptocurrencies and vice versa.

Shortly after the ICO ban, China went after crypto exchanges, prohibiting them from permitting merchants to transform their money to crypto and vice versa, and from conducting different crypto-associated providers. The restrictions prompted most of those buying and selling platforms to close down, with many transferring offshore. By July 2018, 88 digital forex buying and selling platforms and 85 ICO platforms had withdrawn from the market, the PBoC mentioned.

In June 2019, the PBoC issued an announcement saying it might block entry to all home and international cryptocurrency exchanges and ICO web sites; aiming to clamp down on all cryptocurrency buying and selling with a ban on international exchanges.


On18 May 2021, three main common our bodies in China (the National Internet Finance Association of China, the China Banking Association and the Payment and Clearing Association of China) issued a report that re-emphasised the cryptocurrency ban within the nation.

For essentially the most half, this report is only a repeat of the bans beforehand imposed. However, the report does additionally cowl some providers that weren’t beforehand talked about in earlier bans. For instance, it makes clear that establishments should not settle for digital currencies or use them as a way of cost and settlement. Nor can establishments present trade providers between cryptocurrencies and the Chinese yuan or foreign currency echange. Additionally, establishments are prohibited from offering cryptocurrency saving, belief or pledging providers and issuing crypto-associated monetary merchandise. And digital currencies should not be used as funding targets by belief and fund merchandise.

Compared with the earlier ban, the 2021 report doesn’t, in and of itself, impose any new restrictions. What it does do is vastly develop and make clear the scope of prohibited providers. It additionally judges that “digital currencies usually are not supported by any actual worth.

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