The price of Bitcoin fell on Friday after a strong appeal from the Chinese authorities to ban cryptocurrency mining and trading.
Deputy Prime Minister Liu He and the State Council have announced that stricter regulation is needed to protect the financial system.
The statement, which was released late Friday in China, said it was necessary to “combat Bitcoin mining and trading behaviour and resolutely prevent the transmission of individual risks to the social sector.”
The price of Bitcoin fell more than 8.5% in CoinMetrics after the announcement. Other cryptocurrencies also suffered huge losses, with Ethereum and Dogecoin both falling more than 11%.
China’s harsh stance was announced a day after US officials pledged to be tougher on those who use bitcoin to carry out “illegal activity, including tax evasion”. The US Treasury Department has said it will require a report on cryptocurrency transactions over $10.000, just as with cash.
China is concerned about a number of issues, including excessive energy consumption for cryptocurrency mining. Of course, it is not the only one as in addition to the environmental impact, authorities around the world have expressed concern about how bitcoin and its counterparts are used for illegal activities.
“It is essential that stock markets, debt and foreign exchange markets function properly, that illegal securities activities are severely damaged and that illegal financial activities are severely punished,” the statement said.
As part of its efforts to streamline the growing digital currency space, China’s central bank was one of the first in the world to develop its own digital currency with the support of the yuan.
The US Federal Reserve (FED) announced on Thursday that it will soon release a document outlining its own inquiry into the central bank’s position on digital currency.