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China declares all crypto transactions 'illegal' as digital yuan nears

Bitcoin falls by as much as 9% after Beijing's latest crackdown

China's central bank said it would crack down on cryptocurrency trading, banning overseas exchanges from providing services to mainland investors.   © Reuters

BEIJING/TOKYO -- China's central bank on Friday announced a ban on all cryptocurrency payments and services, escalating its ongoing clampdown on bitcoin and other digital coins as it moves to roll out its own virtual currency.

Chinese regulators' latest action "strictly prohibits" exchanging cryptocurrency for legal tender, providing information or pricing services, and trading in cryptocurrency derivatives. The measure also applies to overseas exchanges that provide services online within the country's borders. Violators will face criminal penalties.

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