The cryptocurrency universe was hit by two dollops of bad news this week as authorities in the world’s biggest Bitcoin mining nation intensified a crackdown on the digital asset.
The Inner Mongolia autonomous region, which recently started a campaign to stamp out cryptocurrency mining to reduce carbon emissions, said (link in Chinese) Tuesday it set up a platform for residents to report on illegal projects.
The same day, three financial self-regulatory bodies issued a joint notice (link in Chinese) banning financial institutions and payment companies from directly or indirectly providing cryptocurrency services to customers, including accepting the currency as payment.
The largest token fell as much as 2.3% to $42,309 in early Asian trading Wednesday, continuing a weeklong slide sparked by Elon Musk’s back-and-forth comments on Tesla Inc.’s holdings of the coin. Ether, Dogecoin and last week’s sensation, Internet Computer, also retreated.
“This is the latest chapter of China tightening the noose around crypto,” said Antoni Trenchev, managing partner and co-founder of Nexo in London, a crypto lender.