Cryptocurrencies were on the backfoot on Monday after China´s internet-finance regulator was reported to have asked local authorities to encourage bitcoin mining operations to undertake an “orderly exit” from the business.
Bitcoin was down 5.2% to trade at $15,373 as at 12.27 GMT. Ripple, which has had a particularly strong run over recent weeks traded 22% lower at $2.56.
Various news sources, including Bloomberg and Reuters, reported that China was planning to limit electricity supply to bitcoin miners.
An apparently leaked document from China´s internet-finance regulator, the Leading Group of Internet Financial Risks Remediation, requests local authorities to use measures linked to electricity price, land use, tax, and environmental protection to “guide” bitcoin miners to cease operating.
The central Chinese government is currently looking to reduce financial risks linked to speculation and borrowing more generally, with Beijing already having taken measures to cool the nation´s property market.
Chief executive of Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse, defended the crypto from scepticism on Friday in the wake of its recent meteoric rise which has seen it jump more than 10 fold in just a month.
“Over the last few months I’ve spoken with ACTUAL banks and payment providers. They are indeed planning to use xRapid (our XRP liquidity product) in a serious way,” said Garlinghouse in a tweet.