back to article For the nth time, China bans cryptocurrencies

China has once again banned cryptocurrencies. It's not even the first time this month Beijing's done so, let alone the first time ever, yet word of the reiterated crackdown sent coin prices tumbling, which may have been the ultimate goal. After all, China would prefer its citizens use its non-illegal digital yuan. Bitcoin …

  1. Grunchy Bronze badge

    If only I hadn’t seen through the 2009 con

    If I hadn’t seen through the obvious bitcoin con back in 2009, I could have gotten in on it!

    Oh, woe is me :)

    1. batfastad

      Re: If only I hadn’t seen through the 2009 con

      You're still early!

    2. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: If only I hadn’t seen through the 2009 con

      Back in 2009 I still used Dial Up so I couldn't have got into it even if I wanted to.

  2. martinusher Silver badge

    They're not the only one

    The US Treasury Department is going after crypto exchanges. Its nominally part of a crackdown on ransomware but as the government's view is that crypto currencies are mostly used for illicit transactions anyway they might as well start working on controlling all transactions. The Feds are also interested in exchanges because its at this point currency profits can be taxed.

    (I'm not a great fan of crypto myself because it is so resource intensive. Its useless for day to day finance because of its low speed and relatively high transaction fees.)

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      "US Treasury Department is going after crypto exchanges"

      Oh, indeed, though not quite to the extent of Beijing (thankfully)

      C.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They're not the only one

      Hard to understand how tumblers could be anything other than a money laundering financial crime. (I suppose if I was the govt, I'd take them over and keep tumbling, and arresting the users)

      1. martyn.hare
        Devil

        No worse than buying a Freddo

        With the £20 note you acquired from selling that spare eighth you had lying around…

    3. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: They're not the only one

      mostly used for illicit transactions anyway As opposed to big filthy stacks of Mr. Franklin?? Here in NL, the €100 is rarely seen, most shops etc won't even accept it.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: They're not the only one

        The key difference is that actual money transcations aren't mostly crime.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: They're not the only one

        More importantly: the € 500 note is gradually being withdrawn. It was a sop to the German tax avoidance lobby who, apparently, like to keep a couple of grand in cash lying around for the spontaneous purchase of jewellery, cars, house, yachts, etc. but turned out to be the world's favourite way of moving cash across borders, because you can easily fit half a million in a carrier bag.

  3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    The Internet always delivers

    Winnie Xi Pooh (XIPOOH) crypto currency is up.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pyramid schemes

    My mate is into one:

    You buy x coins

    every y weeks you get % more coins

    the price the spruikers sell coins increases every week, thus making it appear that it's an "investment"

    If you get in early you can sell your coins for a profit to punters getting in later, but there is a sell rate limit to "stop" runs on the currency.

    Of course as soon as new punters stop buying them at the inflating price from the spruikers, the gain evaporates. The rate limit doesn't stop runs, it just slows them. It takes longer to sink through the sea, than to fall through the air, but both ways you will hit bottom.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CCP have the attention span of a

    The CCP has a short memory, and an even shorter attention span, and the people of China know this.

    Whenever a crackdown like this comes around; be it corruption, prostitution, pollution, bitcoin, etc.; the people know that they just need to lay low for a week or so until the furore has died down, and then it will be back to business as usual; corruption, prostitution, pollution, and bitcoin. And If someone happens to get caught up in the short burst of arrests orchestrated for CCP propaganda, well, just see the first entry in my earlier lists.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: CCP have the attention span of a

      The mountains are high and the emperor in Peking is far away (old Chinese proverb, still seems valid as long as you remember to replace the emperor).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: CCP have the attention span of a

        These days I prefer:

        "The mountains are high and the emperor can see you through your smartphone"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CCP have the attention span of a

      Conflating "the people" with bitcoin? "The people" in China have no idea what bitcoins are. Those who're setting up mining farms in remote corners to make money out of burnt coal aren't "the people".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: CCP have the attention span of a

        You appear to be arguing against a point not mentioned, nor even implied, in the post to which you're replying.

        Nobody claimed everyone was using bitcoin, let alone mining it; just like nobody claimed everyone was engaging in prostitution (though you didn't dispute that, so I'm guessing you're an urban mainland Chinese male). The claim was just that everyone knows that every crackdown is shot and sharp, but business returns to normal soon after.

  6. batfastad

    Trading

    I'd be interested to see mining, transport and storage cost of traditional commodities compared to BTC. Everyone in this debate assumes that extraction and processing of traditional commodities is completely free of environmental cost. Though I appreciate energy use by crypto, even renewable, takes energy resources away from other things while crypto utility is still to be broadly developed.

    Crypto is a breath of fresh air compared to legacy financial markets though when it comes to trading. I have a stock plan from a US company I worked for several years ago and every time I sell some stock it often takes a full 5 working days to go through executed->settled->wire transfer initiated->wire transfer complete. Trades in crypto are completed in less than a second and funds can be moved around within less than a minute if you use a modern chain and protocol.

    What I will say is that every time China bans crypto is just a consistently excellent moment to place a massive short order for some quick profit on a dump... so thanks again!

    1. Blank Reg Silver badge

      Re: Trading

      The difference is that actual commodities have real uses. Unlike bitcoin which is the worlds biggest ponzi scheme. The whole concept of blockchain still looks like a solution in search of a problem. Given the energy requirements I see no problems that are worth that much extra waste.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trading

      How exactly would you turn your bitcoins back into spendable money? You'd still be stuck using the very same bank transfers you compain about.

      Being able to quickly turn bitcoins, into gold stars, into Linden-dollars into purple rupees quickly is irrelevent, when what you need to do is turn it into goods and services like food and electricity and transport!

      You can clearly see the game with the crypto *ATMs*, like Bitnovo ATM below.... turn cash into a little ticket with a voucher number on it.... that will then it into crypto, transferred into your wallet.... its not an ATM at all, its a vending machine, you do not withdraw cash from it.

      https://www.bitnovo.com/bitcoin-atm-en

      There clearly is a problem with banking, the West has weaponized it. When you cannot rely on simply transfers, and bank officers act more like 5tasi agents. The world obviously needs a new banking system, but crypto grafted onto the existing banking system isn't it.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Trading

        Problem is, what if everything you describe as wrong is inherent to banking? It all seems to revolve around trust and betrayal thereof.

        IOW, no matter what you pick, it's liable to get corrupted; it's the human condition...

      2. batfastad

        Re: Trading

        > You'd still be stuck using the very same bank transfers you compain about.

        Trade BTC into USD/EUR/GBP immediately on the exchange then transfer to bank account.

        True, the transfer part still relies on traditional banking system but a faster payments in GBP back from the exchange takes a couple of hours subject to fraud checks. Still much faster than the 24+ hours of a wire transfer from the US into a legacy UK bank.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Trading

          Scenario 1: Bob has USD in US, he sends it to UK Dave, 2-3 days, includes a USD to GBP conversion.

          Scenario 2: Dave has USD in foreign currency account in his UK, sends it to his GBP account in same bank, instantaneous usually.

          It sounds like you're comparing Scenario 2 for BTC to Scenario 1 for banking.

          In scenario 1, you have two sets of bank transfers, and you'd be waiting on the exchange to clear the inbound money, and on the receiving bank to clear the transferred money.

        2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: Trading

          The delays in "traditional" banking aren't caused by technology, they're caused by regulation.

  7. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Happy

    Winter is coming

    Once the temperature drops a little more I'll turn the cryptocurrency miners back on again - they warm the house every year and generate money, lowering my winter heating costs.

    1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: Winter is coming

      Spend £20 on a heater and 100% efficient conversion of electricity into heat, rather than several hundred on a mining rig that’s less efficient at heating your house.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Winter is coming

        I think you may have missed the irony.

        In some places, notably in parts of Russia, cryptomining has indeed been used to provide heating, but this is largely down to the artificially low price of electricity.

  8. Winkypop Silver badge

    Charles Ponzi would be proud

    Crypto.

    So many marks, so little time!

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Charles Ponzi would be proud

      Of how many people don't know how his scheme worked, probably he would be. Cryptocurrency can be a poor investment, there are many crypto-themed scams, and it's also frequently failed at its own goal, but A) the popular ones aren't schemes at all, bubble is closer to the truth and B) some of the time when it is a scheme it's not a Ponzi-style one. Ponzi schemes are not a generic term for something where you lose money. It's a rather specific kind of deliberate fraud which requires several things a lot of crypto schemes don't have.

  9. Bitsminer Bronze badge

    For the nth time....

    Is there a blockchain for that?

  10. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Not remotely cynical

    I wonder whether there has been any quiet purchasing of Bitcoin etc. from the East just after the announcement. And maybe a bit of quiet selling just before the next one.....

  11. Andy 97

    China really has embraced capitalism.

    Someone, in President Eleven's leadership team is ordering a 180ft Sunseeker very soon.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doing the right things

    For the wrong reasons.

    I'm actually OK with the outcome of this, I think more governments need to stamp on the cryto-cockroaches. I just know the Chinese are doing it to force all transactions into their own system with massive surveillance and reporting.

    1. Winter is Coming!

      Re: Doing the right things

      Oh, but could they also be using this as a way of saying they are reducing their carbon footprint? Everybody knows crypto currency is electricity converted to fake money + carbon in most places without some alternative power generation system.

  13. Binraider Silver badge

    Crypto- without the "speculative" element would be a useful tool without the drawbacks. Not terribly far removed from something like the transaction networks behind Visa.

    Of course, without the speculative element nobody would want to "mine" themselves; causing Chicken and Egg with regards getting the infrastructure in place for service provision.

    It's almost as though these financial services for moving money cost money to run (while wanting to take a cut while they're at it...)

    I'm not a gambler, but of the crypto concepts out there Nano is very promising with regards service provision, security and low overhead. BTC isn't dead yet, but as the majority of it's value is purely from speculation, it's just a question of when it goes bang, not if. And the transaction speed is so slow, it could all be over before you know about it.

  14. domagon

    It's that time again

    Looks like China wants to buy, again

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