Bitcoin sinks to two-week low as China intensifies crypto mining crackdown

Bitcoin sank to a two-week low Monday on reports that China has intensified its crackdown on cryptocurrency mining.

The world’s largest digital currency fell as low as $31,760 Monday morning, dropping below $32,000 for the first time since June 8, according to data from Coin Metrics. It was trading around $32,403 at 8:20 a.m. ET, down 8 percent on the day. Smaller rivals like ether and XRP also tumbled, down 11 percent and 10 percent respectively.

Many bitcoin mines in Sichuan were shuttered Sunday after authorities in the southwestern Chinese province ordered a halt to crypto mining, according to a report from the Communist Party-backed newspaper Global Times. More than 90 percent of China’s bitcoin mining capacity is estimated to be shut down, the paper said.

Bloomberg and Reuters also reported on the move from Sichuan authorities. It follows similar developments in China’s Inner Mongolia and Yunnan regions, as well as calls from Beijing to stamp out crypto mining amid worries over its massive energy consumption.

Separately, the People’s Bank of China said Monday it had urged Alipay, the payments service run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Group, and some major banks to crack down on crypto trading. China has already banned financial institutions from providing crypto-related services.

“China often does this,” Charles Hayter, CEO of crypto data firm CryptoCompare, told CNBC via email.

“When China sneezes, bitcoin catches a cold. But this flexing of regulatory muscle is often just that — in the past eight years, this story has risen its head at least three times.”

Back to top button