Chinese authorities have arrested 1,100 individuals in a coordinated attempt to crack down on a network of criminals who illegally launder money by purchasing cryptocurrencies, as the nation clamps down on the digital industry.
The Chinese Ministry of Public Security announced the detention of the 1,100 criminals in a statement released on Wednesday, revealing the latest move by authorities as China continues to target the cryptocurrency industry.
Police allege that the network of criminals used cryptocurrencies to launder illegally obtained money on behalf of clients, receiving a commission from the proceeds for their work. Authorities have not stated how much money was involved in the criminal operation.
Some areas of China, including Inner Mongolia and Qinghai, have banned cryptocurrency mining, believing that the activity violates annual energy consumption targets.
As it stands, bitcoin mines in China are behind around 80% of the entire global trade in cryptocurrencies, making the nation a key part of the process in the digital industry. Despite this, Chinese authorities have targeted crypto over concerns about its involvement in illegal activities, including money laundering.
The Asian region also accounts for eight percent of the computing power required to run the global blockchain used to record and facilitate bitcoin transactions – a greater amount than the entire United States.
Earlier this year, China formally banned cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings in the country, as well as preventing financial institutions and payment companies from offering services linked to the digital currency transactions. This follows a 2019 ban on the domestic trading of cryptocurrencies. Chinese citizens are not currently prohibited from owning cryptocurrencies themselves.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!