Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, fell by 10.62 percent to $35,882 on Friday after Chinese authorities called for a crackdown on crypto mining and trading.
In a statement on Friday, China’s financial stability and development committee of the state council, chaired by Liu He, a Chinese vice-premier, said tighter regulation is needed to protect the country’s financial system.
He said China will “crack down on Bitcoin mining and trading behaviour, and resolutely prevent the transmission of individual risks to the social field.”
“It is necessary to maintain the smooth operation of the stock, debt, and foreign exchange markets, severely crack down on illegal securities activities, and severely punish illegal financial activities,” the statement read in part.
Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, also plunged by 16.49 percent to $2,351 on Friday, according to data from coinmarketcap.com.
The Chinese government recently announced a ban on financial firms and payment institutions from offering services related to cryptocurrency transactions.
Under the ban, banks and online payments channels must not offer clients any service involving cryptocurrency, such as registration, trading, clearing and settlement.
The country also banned crypto exchanges and initial coin offerings (IOCs) but has not barred individuals from holding cryptocurrencies.
Virtual currencies have been suffering losses after Elon Musk, Tesla chief executive officer announced that the company will no longer accept Bitcoin as a form of transaction due to the environmental impact of mining the currency.
“Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction,”he had tweeted.