As China continues its long fight against bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, a new step has been taken. Alipay, owned by Alibaba, has announced on Twitter that it will be discontinuing all BTC and crypto payments from here on out.
Alipay: No Crypto Use, Please
There has been serious confusion as of late given that Binance, the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchange by market cap, has allegedly joined hands with Alipay. When a Twitter user asked if Binance was allowing fiat-to-crypto transactions through Alipay, the person was responded to with a “yes.” Unfortunately, just a short time later, Alipay got in the mix and issued a “no” to the user, saying that digital currency transactions would not be allowed on its platform.
China has been consistently targeting crypto businesses and exchanges for the past several years, with the country initially banning all foreign trading platforms and initial coin offerings (ICOs). Things then took another step into dark territory when it was revealed that the nation was potentially looking to halt all crypto mining operations given that they potentially damaged the environment.
However, this ban has only been discussed but never implemented. At this stage, it’s hard to say if China is planning to move forward with the ban given that it’s been a topic of regulators for some time but has never amounted to any hardcore legislation.
Alipay took to Twitter to explain the circumstances of its present stance on crypto payments:
There’re several reports about @Alipay being used for bitcoin transactions. To reiterate, Alipay closely monitors over-the-counter transactions to identify irregular behavior and ensure compliance with relevant regulations.
In addition to halting all crypto-to-fiat transactions, Alipay also stated that it would not allow any of its users to purchase cryptocurrencies through its platform.
Earlier in the year, China did announce that it would be issuing its own state-backed cryptocurrency through its central financial institutions. It’s quite possible that China is looking to bar all related crypto and bitcoin use as a means of preventing competition for its new currency. The nation began seriously looking into the development of the coin as a means of competing with Libra, the new Facebook currency that’s set for a 2020 release date.
So, What Does China Say About All This?
One Twitter user known as “truth seeker” sought to explain China’s mysterious relationship with crypto:
For those who don’t understand China & Alipay, Chinese government is negative on bitcoin, positive on blockchain, and wants to issue its own digital currency to compete with bitcoin and Libra, and push R&M world dominance, but they do allow citizens to own and hold bitcoin. 1/5
At press time, users can potentially trade bitcoin, Ethereum and the stable currency Tether against the Chinese yuan on Binance.