China’s state-owned CITIC Bank recently prohibited individuals and institutions from using their bank account to purchase and trade crypto assets including Bitcoin and Litecoin. Its official announcement stated three main reasons for doing so.
The first was to protect the public’s property rights and interests, the second intended to maintain the legal currency status of RMB, while the third aimed to prevent money laundering risks. The statement said,
“Institutions and individuals are prohibited from using this bank account to purchase and trade Bitcoin and Litecoin, etc.”
It further added,
“Once discovered, our bank has the right to take measures such as suspending related account transactions and canceling related accounts.”
The notice also requested the public to report such behavior. Wu blockchain clarified,
“China does not prohibit bitcoin transactions between individuals, but some banks restrict bitcoin transactions to avoid money laundering.”
China has, however, been a crypto-friendly nation from the beginning. Li Bo, deputy governor of the Central Bank of China, had recently said,
“Crypto assets such as Bitcoin should be used as investment tools or alternative investments.”
Amidst this development in China, it should be noted that banks in other countries are also gradually steering away from the crypto space. In India, for instance, top private and foreign banks including the likes of ICICI Bank, Citibank, HSBC, and HDFC Bank have questioned their customers about their crypto transactions.
“Accordingly, authorized exchange offices and banks can make foreign exchange payments for import through cryptocurrencies mined in the country… but trading and buying and selling other cryptocurrencies are not allowed.”