GUANGZHOU, China – China’s crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry has wiped nearly $ 300 billion in value off the entire digital currency market since Friday when a major Bitcoin mining hub ordered miners to shut down.
Bitcoin fell about 6.6% to $ 32,735.71 around 10:47 p.m. ET and hit its 24-hour low of $ 31,179.05, according to CoinDesk data.
In the past few days, China has stepped up its efforts to contain the country’s cryptocurrency industry.
Mining ban, PBOC warning
According to several media reports, the authorities in the Chinese province of Sichuan ordered cryptocurrency miners to cease operations on Friday. Sichuan is one of the largest bitcoin mining centers in China.
Many bitcoin mines in southwest China’s province were closed on Sunday, according to the state-backed tabloid Global Times.
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These are not new rules, but the PBOC’s comments show how China’s leading regulators are stepping up surveillance and pressure on financial institutions related to cryptocurrencies.
China banned local cryptocurrency exchanges in 2017, forcing them to relocate overseas. That didn’t stop Chinese traders from buying and selling digital coins, although it made crypto trading even more complex.
Chinese traders would have to move their Chinese yuan to a platform to buy crypto. That would be done through a payment service like Alipay or a bank account. The latest warning from the PBOC to the financial institutions could try to stamp this out further.
Bitcoin has declined around 16% since Friday when Sichuan authorities asked miners to cease operations. The central bank announcement has added additional pressure.
Other cryptocurrencies, including Ether and XRP, were also significantly lower late Monday.