China's Central Bank has called for Chinese banks and payment institutions to stop providing a wide array of cryptocurrency services, including opening accounts, transactions, and settlements.
The Central Bank has reportedly interviewed five banks—including Alipay—and has requested that they do not participate in crypto-related business as part of the country's wider crackdown on the industry.
Other banks include the Agricultural Bank of China, the China Construction Bank, the Postal Savings Bank of China, and the Industrial Bank.
China's crypto woes
The Central Bank announcement comes amidst China's wider efforts to crack down on the crypto space—specifically through the mining industry.
In May of this year, Bitcoin crashed by 12% when a financial committee in China included Bitcoin mining in a laundry list of activities that posed a plethora of financial risks. "It is necessary to maintain smooth operation of the stock, debt, and foreign exchange markets, severely crack down on illegal securities activities, and severely punish illegal financial activities," the Chinese government said at the time.
That was the first time the State Council specifically spoke out against Bitcoin mining, and since then, the situation has not improved for China's miners.
Last week, Sichuan, a popular province for Bitcoin miners for much of the year, banned Bitcoin mining on account of the industry's immense energy demands, cutting off yet another popular mining province from the industry, and joining a list of provinces that includes Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia.