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Bitcoin and ethereum sink as China intensifies crackdown on cryptocurrencies

A visual representation of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin on November 20, 2018 in London, England.

Jordan Mansfield | Getty Images

Bitcoin and ethereum tumbled into the red on Friday, with traders rattled by tough talk out of China.

The price of bitcoin fell nearly 6% to $42,240, according to Coin Metrics data. Ethereum, the second-largest digital currency, fell over 9% to $2,855.

It comes after the People’s Bank of China said in a Q&A that all crypto-related activities are illegal. Services offering trading, order matching or derivatives for virtual currencies are strictly prohibited, the PBOC said, while overseas exchanges are also illegal.

Beijing has cracked down sharply on crypto this year. The Chinese government moved to stamp out digital currency mining, the energy-intensive operation that validates transactions and produces new coins. That led to sharp slump in bitcoin’s processing power as miners took their equipment offline.

The PBOC banned banks and non-bank payment institutions like Alibaba affiliate Ant Group from providing services related to virtual currency. In July, authorities told a Beijing-based software company to shut down over its involvement with crypto trading.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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