Cryptocurrencies fell on Friday after China ramped up its crackdown on the industry. Here’s how some of the most popular cryptocurrency groups are performing as of 3:30 PM ET:
Earlier this year, China banned cryptocurrency mining, an energy-intensive process that drew criticism from environmentalists for its potential to contribute to climate change. Chinese regulators are also banning the country’s financial institutions from providing services to crypto-focused companies.
Today, the Chinese central bank took the next step and declared all activities related to cryptocurrency to be illegal. This includes trading cryptocurrency and its derivatives on foreign exchanges.
Regulators around the world have intensified their scrutiny of the cryptocurrency markets in recent months. Some strive to protect people from fraud, theft, and other frauds that have already led to billions of dollars in losses for investors. Others seek to reduce energy use in industry and waste production. Others want to prevent nefarious actors from using cryptocurrencies to launder money, fund terrorism, and evade capital controls.
Regulatory and law enforcement agencies are also taking a closer look at pregnancy (CRYPTO: USDT) and other stablecoins. Industry watchers are increasingly concerned that a collapse of a major stablecoin could threaten the stability of not only cryptocurrency exchanges but also the financial institutions that support them. Tether alone claims to have over $69 billion in assets.
These heightened regulatory risks are prompting many investors to rein in their expectations for the near-term growth of the cryptocurrency industry – and many are choosing to sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrency combinations today.
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