Chinese Police Arrest 1,100 People for Money Laundering With Cryptocurrencies

Authorities in China escalated their campaign against cryptocurrencies, arresting more than 1,100 people suspected of using the digital assets to launder ill-gotten funds and ordering mines to shut down in one of its western provinces, the Wall Street Journal reported. In a swoop spanning 23 provinces, regions and cities, Chinese police on Wednesday rounded up more than 170 criminal groups that engaged in cryptocurrency trading in order to launder money obtained via telephone and online scams, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement. The suspects repeatedly converted the assets from one cryptocurrency to another to cover their tracks, it said. The illegal activities “caused serious social harm,” the ministry added. The arrests came after a powerful Chinese superregulator last month pledged to “crack down on bitcoin mining and trading behavior,” as part of broader efforts to guard against financial risk and reduce energy consumption in the country. Concerns of a regulatory clampdown contributed to a strong selloff in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Read more. (Subscription required.)