By Dhirendra Tripathi
Investing.com – Shares of blockchain- and crypto-related companies were taking a beating Friday as authorities in China vowed a strict crackdown against digital currencies.
Crypto exchange Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) fell 4% on Nasdaq. Marathon Digital (NASDAQ:MARA), Bit Digital (NASDAQ:BTBT), Hut 8 Mining (TSX:HUT_t) and Riot Blockchain Inc (NASDAQ:RIOT) fell 7% to 8% in premarket trading.
MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR), one of the biggest Bitcoin investors among listed companies, fell 6%. Argo Blockchain (LON:ARB) dropped 13% in London trading.
The warnings led to a slump in the value of Bitcoin (BitfinexUSD) and other digital currencies as well. The largest cryptocurrency slumped below the $41,000-level and then recouped it. Ethereum ETH/USD fell 19% and Dogecoin DOGE/USD 16%.
People’s Bank of China reiterated its long-held view that all digital currency activities are illegal while pledging to crack down on the market.
“Financial institutions and non-bank payment institutions cannot offer services to activities and operations related to virtual currencies,” according to a translation of comments the central bank posted as a Q&A on its website.
The PBOC also advised banks and payment institutions like Ant Group Co Ltd (HK:6688) against providing crypto-linked services.
It’s not the first time China has talked tough on cryptocurrencies. Beijing cracked down on cryptos earlier in June, forcing many mining bases to shut. Before that, China accounted for more than half of global Bitcoin mining production.