“Alibaba.com will prohibit the sale of virtual currency miners in addition to the prohibition against selling virtual currencies such as Bitcoin…which include but are not limited to: hardware and software used to obtain virtual currencies such as Bitcoin miners; [and] tutorials, strategies, and software for obtaining virtual currencies such as tutorials on mining,” the company said yesterday.
The company said it was following Friday’s PBoC guidelines, but also taking note of global crypto regulation instability.
Alibaba cited the Chinese government’s recent ban on all cryptocurrencies.
China has been attempting to ban Bitcoin since 2013, only a few years after the peer-to-peer (P2P) network was born. The constant new attempts that followed were only a demonstration of how it couldn’t do it and that it will not be able to do it going forward. Regulated entities like Alibaba and bitcoin exchange Huobi will surely step out, but P2P markets are set to thrive, similar to Nigeria. Nonetheless, the China ban is good for Bitcoin.
Alibaba, China’s largest online retailer, will stop selling cryptocurrency mining machines, according to an announcement published online Monday. The ban comes after the Chinese government made its own sweeping announcement on Friday banning all cryptocurrency trading in the country.
From Alibaba’s announcement:
Alibaba.com will prohibit the sale of virtual currency miners in addition to the prohibition against selling virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, BeaoCoin, QuarkCoin, and Ethereum, which include but are not limited to:
1) Hardware and software used to obtain virtual currencies such as Bitcoin miners ;
2) Tutorials, strategies, and software for obtaining virtual currencies such as tutorials on mining.The ban will take effect on October 8, according to the retailing giant, though third-party sellers won’t face serious consequences for breaking the rules until October 15.
As Coindesk notes, Alibaba isn’t just the largest online retailer in China, it also has subsidiaries throughout Asia, including Aliexpress and Lazada.
China has cracked down extremely hard on cryptocurrencies recently, as more and more evidence piles up about just how terrible they are for the environment. Bitcoin enthusiasts insist that cryptocurrencies aren’t that bad, though some eco-minded miners have started to find unconventional ways to make the technology more green, including a recent plan to approach the nuclear energy industry, as Earther reported yesterday.
The Chinese central government has disliked cryptocurrencies for some time, though it has largely left regulations on mining up to local governments. That all changed on Friday with China’s total ban on crypto, which makes it extremely difficult for crypto enthusiasts to operate in the country at any level.
Crypto promoters insist that coins like bitcoin and ethereum don’t recognize borders and that China’s ban can’t stop people from trading. But many people holding crypto are interacting with an exchange, not holding the keys to their own wallet. And given the barriers to entry, it’s unlikely that the average person in any country, let alone an authoritarian country like China, is going to put up with the complexities of crypto, which has thus far only proven its worth as a highly speculative asset.