China is at the forefront of government opposition to cryptocurrencies
The central bank of China stated as a declaration that all transactions involving Bitcoin and any “virtual” currencies illegal, according to the AP.
This seems to be an escalation of the various methods being used to block and prohibit the use of any currency or “money” outside the direct control of the Chinese government.
In a notice released by the central bank the reasoning was elaborated on – stating that digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and others disrupt the current financial system and encourage and help facilitate money-laundering and other crimes.
“Virtual currency derivative transactions are all illegal financial activities and are strictly prohibited,”
–the People’s Bank of China
The price of Bitcoin fell, to $41,180, in the hours after the announcement. Other major cryptocurrencies also fell. . Ethereum dropped almost 10%, falling from $3,100 to around $2,758.
Those levels appeared to be a short term low as there has been a recovery bounce since the initial reaction selloff.
China is gearing up for it’s own ‘innovations’ involving digital currencies and transactions
This clampdown follows the banning of Bitcoin mining and an exodus of a large number of Chinese mining operations, many relocating to the US, Europe, Southeast Asia and elsewhere. At the peak, Chinese miners accounted for around 3/4 of the world’s electricity consumption related to crypto mining, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption index.
That share is still the highest, though far lower, with the USA being the second largest consumer of electricity used for Bitcoin mining.
There is a worldwide “showdown” of sorts building, with cryptocurrency adherents touting, often with great resolve, the privacy, anonymity and “freedom” of using the coins, while many governments, China, and Turkey being outspoken, consider the potential losses that could come from allowing private actors to control financial transactions.
Although fiat currencies all have cash, paper bills, that can also be used anonymously, the potential criminal laundering has government controls and laws in place to minimize (or at least attempt to minimize) the magnitude of the problem.
Governments getting increasingly worried as crypto adoption continues to expand worldwide
Many governments, including the People’s Bank of China, are developing electronic versions of the local fiat currency, such as China’s yuan for example. to facilitate cashless transactions which, unlike with Bitcoin, can be more easily tracked and controlled by the local authorities, communist or otherwise.
Calls and warning are also building with Regulators in many countries, including the US, warning of the dangers and emphasizing that they want cryptocurrencies to have greater oversight.
For example, Gary Gensler, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, recently said that investors need more protection in the cryptocurrency market, calling the current state of the largely unregulated market “rife with fraud, scams and abuse” and compared it to the “Wild West.”
The SEC has already cracked down on cases of alleged freud involving crypto, but Gensler believes that the agency will need more authority from Congress to and funding to adequately regulate the market..
As a result, miners have been moving operations out of China.
Two years ago, China alone accounted for around three-quarters of all the electricity used for crypto mining, by far the most in the world, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption index.
Expect more government announcements involving crypto and new ways to try to control or inhibit its proliferation
The looming showdown appears heading for a significant and dangerous climax, with both sides, crypto enthusiasts and private holders and users of the coins on the one side, and, in some cases, terrified governments on the other wanting to outlaw and stamp out the entire sector.
In the US this will be difficult, with so many high profile and powerful individuals and companies already embracing the idea that the future will contain, at least for the foreseeable time frame, both the government controlled fiat system and the surging and diverse cryptocurrency systems.
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