Briefing

Bitcoin falls to six-month low as Chinese regulators go after illegal cryptocurrency use

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The coin’s price dropped to as low as US$6,929, down almost nine per cent from its midnight price of US$7,599. Also on Friday, the People’s Bank of China said it will target cryptocurrency trading in Shanghai after seeing a resurgence in initial coin offerings and other means of raising money from distributing tokens. (Reuters)

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Talking point: Chinese regulators are trying to draw a distinction between blockchain—an area in which President Xi Jinping said last month the country should try to “gain an edge”—and cryptocurrencies. The government has also intervened to dampen enthusiasm caused in part by its own messaging. A state-run news outlet appealed for investors to “stay rational” after a surge in the stocks of blockchain companies on Chinese indexes following Xi’s comments. And Friday’s announcement comes after an article by the state-run Xinhua News Agency described Bitcoin as blockchain’s “first successful application,” although it included warnings about the cryptocurrency’s volatility and illegal use.