The People’s Bank of China deputy governor Pan Gongsheng told a recent conference that 'virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.' Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

China’s official Xinhua news agency is shining a spotlight on channels being used to trade cryptocurrencies, as Chinese authorities continue their efforts to put the kibosh on the activity.

The story from Monday reported the ease with which Chinese traders can engage in over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trading, as well as overseas initial coin offerings (ICO).

After China banned domestic trading platforms and ICOs last year, trading shifted to OTC channels hosted outside of China.

Xinhua reporters were able to register on exchanges such as Huobi Pro and buy bitcoin using domestic Chinese pay clients like AliPay.

The report cited findings from China’s Internet Finance Security Commission that more than 20 OTC exchanges have remained active through overseas domains.

Amid fears of government regulatory crackdowns in China and across the globe, bitcoin fell in January to less than half of its all-time high of nearly US$20,000 reached in mid-December of last year. It has been hovering above US$8,000, with analysts divided over whether this is a new floor or a brief respite before the plunge continues.

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