China's Answer to eBay Bans Sale of Bitcoins and Mining Gear

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Jan 7, 2014 at 17:05 UTCUpdated Jan 8, 2014 at 12:10 UTC. Taobao, China's largest online marketplace, will ban the sale of all cryptocurrencies, mining equipment and mining tutorials from 14th Jan, it said in a statement released today.

Hardware and software that are used for mining bitcoin.

Following its release, the price of bitcoin on major Chinese exchanges experienced a slight drop from 5,600 yuan to 5,000 yuan, before rebounding to 5,300 yuan within half an hour.

Taobao, a consumer marketplace similar to eBay, claims more than half a billion registered users and daily transaction volumes exceeding 20bn yuan.

The marketplace is currently one of the few places beyond the exchanges where users in China can buy bitcoin.

Taobao is owned by Alibaba Group, which also runs Alipay, China's leading third-party online payment platform.

The Chinese central bank last month banned financial institutions from dealing in bitcoin and barred payment companies from working with bitcoin exchanges.

Although Taobao's statement doesn't bar merchants on the marketplace from accepting bitcoin for goods and services, financial consultancy Kapronasia reported a drop in the number of merchants willing to take bitcoin payments in the wake of the central bank ruling, according to the South China Morning Post.

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