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China online marketplace Taobao to ban Bitcoins

Published on Jan 8, 2014 7:50 PM

SHANGHAI (AFP) - China's largest online marketplace, Alibaba Group's Taobao, said on Wednesday that it would ban the trading of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies from Jan 14, after a government crackdown on the units.

The People's Bank of China (PBoC), the country's central bank, in December ordered financial institutions to halt Bitcoin-related services and products and cautioned against its potential use in money-laundering, according to a statement.

Bitcoins - a form of digitally-created "e-money" - are stored in a virtual wallet, and can be sent directly to another person, bypassing banks and remaining largely anonymous.

The PBoC also banned domestic third-party payment companies from providing clearing services for virtual currencies, according to state media reports.

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