Crypto Miners Riot Blockchain, Marathon Digital Slide on China Crypto Ban

China’s central bank said bitcoin, ether and tether are not legal tender and cannot be used in the currency market.

AccessTimeIconSep 24, 2021 at 3:36 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 7:02 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin miners Riot Blockchain, Inc. and Marathon Digital Holdings, Inc. were among the sharpest decliners among crypto stocks on Friday after China renewed a crackdown on cryptocurrency.

  • Riot Blockchain dropped 6.5%, while Marathon Digital fell 6.2%. Hut 8 Mining Corp. and Bit Digital, Inc. both dropped 5.3%.
  • MicroStrategy Inc., often seen as a proxy for bitcoin, dropped 3.3%, while crypto exchange Coinbase Global, Inc. declined 2.9% and Robinhood Markets, Inc., where many users trade crypto, fell 1.4%. The wider S&P 500 index was flat, while the Nasdaq composite was down 0.5%.
  • The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said bitcoin, ether and the stablecoin tether (USDT) do not qualify as legal tender and cannot be used in the currency market.
  • Bitcoin fell by nearly $2,000 to $42,800 after the PBOC news hit the wires, erasing Thursday’s 3% gain.
  • China renewed its crackdown on cryptocurrency trading and mining in the second quarter amid pilot testing of a digital yuan. However, according to China journalist Colin Wu, the latest central bank statement is quite detailed and mentions tether as illegal for the first time. Tether, the largest stablecoin per market value, is widely used to fund crypto purchases and as collateral in decentralized finance.

UPDATE (Sept. 24, 15:01 UTC): Added MicroStrategy price movement in second bullet point.

Read more on China’s latest bitcoin crackdown:


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Josh Fineman

Josh Fineman is CoinDesk's Senior Wall Street Reporter, covering the intersection of crypto and traditional finance.