The Chinese central bank has warned the country’s financial institutions not to trade in bitcoin, saying that the digital currency doesn’t have “real meaning” and lacks legal protections.
However, no explicit risk to China’s financial system was identified by the bank, and it reiterated that individual citizens were free to use bitcoin provided they were aware that they were taking the risk on themselves.
The bank also identified money laundering and other illegal uses of the currency as areas of concern.
Bitcoin has recently achieved a measure of popularity in China, with FiatLeak and other bitcoin trading information sites showing large inflows of the currency through Chinese exchanges.
China Telecom, the largest mobile phone provider in the country, launched a promotion allowing a Samsung phone to be bought with bitcoins, and Baidu, the Chinese Google, is accepting payments for its firewall service in the currency.
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