China's E-Commerce Giant Alibaba Just Banned Bitcoin
Alibaba — the e-commerce giant — will no longer allow Bitcoin use on its site.
Alibaba said that as of January 14 it would stop its users from doing any deals in Bitcoins or other virtual currencies such as Litecoins, and would bar merchants from selling any Bitcoin mining software or offering any related products.
The decision was taken to “promote the healthy development of Taobao Marketplace and to more effectively protect the interests of Taobao members,” Alibaba said in a statement. It added that the ban stemmed from the central bank’s ruling in December that prohibits any payment companies or financial institutions from handling Bitcoins.
The whole press release is here (in Chinese).
The price of Bitcoin dropped precipitously late last year after the first signs that China would crack down.
But it hasn't really mattered. The price has proved resilient, and as the FT noted yesterday, trading is springing back to life, as people find a way around the government ban. Given that circumventing government regulations is one of the main appeals of Bitcoin, it was probably naive to think that China's crackdown would have major ramifications.