CHINESE FINANCIAL ORGANISATIONS have been banned from trading in the virtual currency Bitcoin, but it is fair game for ordinary people.
Bitcoin is a hot currency right now, and its value has been shooting up. In China there is a concern that there is not much to hang serious business on, and while you can buy a pizza or a spaceflight with the virtual currency, it often isn't welcome elsewhere.
A statement released by China's central bank and seen by the New York Times, looks to rein in the use of the currency, at least as long as it remains a virtual mystery.
"In essence, Bitcoin is a kind of special virtual commodity, and does not have the same legal status as a currency," the central bank said.
"Currently, the public lacks sufficient understanding of Bitcoin, and some individuals have been caught up by faddishness or a speculative mentality in holding, using and trading in Bitcoins," the statement explained.
It added that it is fine for ordinary people to risk their Yuan on the currency though, as long as they are aware of the risks.
It said, "Ordinary members of the public have the freedom to participate in Bitcoin transactions as a kind of commodity trading activity on the internet provided they assume the risks themselves."
However, for now everyone should be cautious, according to the Chinese central bank. "The price can be easily controlled by speculators, creating severe turbulence and huge risks," it said.
"Ordinary investors who blindly follow the crowd can easily suffer major losses." µ
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