China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency is likely a way to maintain economic control, experts say

Mitchell Hartman May 20, 2021
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GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images

China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency is likely a way to maintain economic control, experts say

Mitchell Hartman May 20, 2021
Heard on:
GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images
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China’s latest financial restrictions ban banks and online payment companies from accepting cryptocurrency to pay for things, or allowing cryptocurrency to be exchanged for other currencies.

Cornell economist Eswar Prasad said China is likely trying to protect its own currency and maintain economic control “to block the use of bitcoin as a conduit for money coming in and out of China through unofficial channels.”

But, he added, “what happens in China doesn’t stay in China.”

Other governments could follow, he says—to protect small investors, and to prevent capital flight. Investment strategist Ross Mayfield at Baird says because of China’s actions, cryptocurrency could face an “existential threat.”

“I think existential threat is the right way to think about it–when the government takes serious steps to limit cryptocurrency mining, trading, payments,” he said.

Mayfield says cryptocurrencies will only get more volatile if other governments crack down. 

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