China's crypto war just hit a new level



China's central bank said tuesday it had called for the shutdown of a company that "was suspected of providing software services for virtual currency transactions.

The statement, issued by the Beijing office of the People's Bank of China, also said to have warned institutions not to provide other services related to virtual currency(cryptocurrency), including providing business premises or marketing.

Lashing out against digital currencies is nothing new for the authoritarian state.

In 2013, the country ordered third-party payment providers to stop using bitcoin. Chinese authorities put a stop to token sales in 2017 and pledged to continue to target crypto exchanges in 2019.

But typically, each time Beijing has lashed out at the crypto industry, the sting has worn off and the rules eventually softened.

This time, however, appears to be different.

In May, China banned financial institutions and payment companies from providing crypto-related services. In June, there were mass arrests in China of people suspected of using cryptocurrencies in nefarious ways. That same month, regulators dialed up the pressure on banks and payment businesses to stop providing cryptocurrency services, and Weibo, the Twitter of China, suspended crypto-related accounts.

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