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Bitcoin banned on China’s biggest online marketplace

Published time: January 09, 2014 08:46
Workers sorting out packages at an Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in Beijing (AFP Photo)

Workers sorting out packages at an Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in Beijing (AFP Photo)

Bitcoin faces a fresh obstacle in China as Alibaba,the country’s largest e-commerce group, will ban bitcoin transactions starting January 14.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's Taobao, China’s largest online marketplace, will not allow any transactions of virtual currencies or related products, the Financial Times reports.

Alibaba Group, an internet group of e-commerce businesses that handled over $170 billion in sales in 2012, expects to hold an initial public offering later this year, and banning bitcoin and steering clear of the sale of counterfeit goods is seen as an extra precaution.

Banning the anonymous virtual currency will “promote the healthy development of the Taobao Marketplace and to more effectively protect the interests of Taobao members,” Alibaba said in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday.

Users will not only be barred from buying and selling bitcoins, but all related activities, including “mining” the currency, which is the creation of new bitcoins through solving complex logarithmic equations.

The move is part of a larger government crackdown on the cryptocurrency, which has fast gained traction in China, the world’s second-largest economy and home to the largest bitcoin trading platforms.

In December, the People’s Bank of China banned third party sales of bitcoin, and placed a ban on financial institutions dealing with bitcoin, ordering them to halt activities by January 31, the beginning of the Chinese New Year holiday.

After hitting a $1000 high in December, prices plummeted on the Central Bank’s announcement, but has since rebounded, after Zynga, the provider of social network games such as FarmVille, said it would accept the digital money in some of its titles.

Bitcoin has faced harsh criticism from governing bodies in Europe, India, and in the US, with regulators skeptical of the cryptocurrency.

Since its creation in 2008 by a man using the alias Satoshi Nakmoto, bitcoin has gone mainstream and can be used to buy coffee, pay for online dating services, and can even be retrieved from an ATM. There are more than 12 million bitcoins in circulation worldwide.

Comments (14)

 

Matt Seremet 24.01.2014 01:02

"its creation in 2008 by a man using the alias Satoshi Nakmoto"

It's 2014 people! Get with the times. Many think it was a group of people using the name satoshi but the fact remains we do not know if it was one or multiple people. Also, who's to say it was a "man"?

 

Marc Marte 11.01.2014 15:27

yes Ill defstop buying from china and Ill boycott china, is like they wanna have us to buy from us but wont let us sell on there websites or use any funds of our choosing. going to boycott alibaba

 

Marc Marte 11.01.2014 15:25

Alibaba you lost my business

View all comments (14)
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