China's central bank has said all financial transactions involving cryptocurrencies are illegal, sounding the death knell for the digital trade in China after a crackdown on the volatile currencies.
The global values of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin have massively fluctuated over the past year partly due to Chinese regulations, which have sought to prevent speculation and money laundering.
'Virtual currency-related business activities are illegal financial activities,' the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said in an online statement Friday, adding that offenders would be 'investigated for criminal liability in accordance with the law.'
China's central bank has said all financial transactions involving cryptocurrencies are illegal. Pictured: A worker adjusts crypto mining rigs in Sichuan province
The notice bans all related financial activities involving cryptocurrencies, such as trading crypto, selling tokens, transactions involving virtual currency derivatives and 'illegal fundraising'.
Bitcoin, which had already been falling before the announcement, sank by as much as 8.9 percent to $41,019 in European afternoon trading before recovering slightly later in the day.
The central bank said that in recent years trading of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies had become 'widespread, disrupting