China Makes Cryptocurrency Transactions Illegal

China’s central bank declared all cryptocurrency transactions illegal Friday, reinforcing the stark position against any non-government issued currency. 

In a statement posted on its website, the People’s Bank of China said the move was in effort to prevent the risks involved with trading cryptocurrency and to maintain national security. 

Following the announcement, cryptocurrency prices plummeted, the Wall Street Journal reports. Bitcoin fell more than 8 percent and Ether dropped more than 11 percent. 

The bank said cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether are issued by non-monetary authorities, use encryption technologies and exist in a digital form and thus shouldn’t be circulated and used in the market. 

It also said it is illegal for overseas exchanges to provide services for residents in China via the internet.

The statement called for a monitoring system, giving local governments “full play” to surveil their regions and flag warnings. It promised to crack down on “illegal financial activities” in terms of cryptocurrency exchanges, and investigate employees of foreign exchanges inside China.