A Chinese Central Bank regulatory bureau has announced a blanket ban on the country’s entire market for cryptocurrencies, it was reported Friday.
The ban comes after investigators confirmed late last year that more than $3 billion in lost cryptocurrency had been stolen from trading platforms.
“Citing [their] views of irrational behavior by speculators, and fickle and high-risk behavior on exchanges, the regulator says it will severely punish the perpetrators,” Bloomberg reported, citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter.
The Central Bank additionally cited the country’s capital controls for the ban.
While China first said in 2017 that it would launch an investigation into crypto-currency trading, the crackdown was seemingly stalled following the June launch of Bitcoin Cash, the original crypto-currency launched by Bitcoin developer Bitcoin Cash Council.
Bitcoin Cash was an encrypted version of the original cryptocurrency which promised to be stronger than its original, but Bitcoin Cash, like Bitcoin, eventually crumbled.
In 2017, China reportedly began attempting to enforce capital controls to prevent capital outflows through the country’s cryptocurrency market. At the time, China was said to have 20 million users of its cryptocurrency exchange exchanges, according to an estimate cited by The New York Times.
Many of China’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Binance and Huobi, began restricting users from trading on public platforms in the wake of the crackdown, according to Bloomberg.