China's highest governmental body called for an explicit crackdown on "bitcoin mining and trading" for the first time in a Friday meeting, causing the price of bitcoin to fall yet again in a week of tumbles.
The State Council's Financial Stability and Development Committee released a statement including "bitcoin mining and trading activities" in a list of financial risks to prevent. The committee, chaired by Vice Premier Liu He, was formed in 2017 to coordinate the country's top financial regulators.
This is the first time China's top level of government has publicly voiced its opinion on cryptocurrency mining activities. Cryptocurrency trading has been banned in the country since 2017. In March, a provincial government moved to block crypto-mining data centers for environmental reasons, and this week asked the public to report illegal mining facilities.
Earlier this week, three industry associations representing China's banks and other finance institutions released a joint statement vowing to stay away from any "virtual currency" activities.