Crac Evergrande, China blocks bitcoins

Beijing declares "crypto" transactions illegal. Objective: to avoid capital flight

Evergrande sinks, leaving investors waiting to collect $ 83.5 million, but Beijing doesn't seem to care. Or maybe not, because the announcement with which the People 'Bank of China (Pboc) yesterday declared illegal all transactions and activities related to cryptocurrencies, could actually have a very specific purpose: to prevent a strong outflow of capital. through the electronic money channel. An escape triggered by the collapse of the real estate giant and fears of repercussions on the entire economy. Concerns that do not seem unfounded on the part of the Dragon, given that the Tether Coin is one of the preferred means of Chinese residents to launder national currency abroad for a value of more than 1,000 billion dollars.

Officially, crypto can no longer be bought and sold as "they do not have the same legal status as legal tender currency and cannot be distributed on the market as currency". Ergo, exchanges and transactions are "illegal financial activities", especially if foreign digital currencies are used, the most targeted by the PBOC and therefore collapsed yesterday on the markets (Bitcoin lost more than 8%).

The war against coins 2.0 is a relentless war that the Chinese government has been fighting for almost a decade. As early as 2013, third-party payment service providers were ordered to stop using intangible currencies. But the crackdown has intensified since 2017. First the cross placed above token sales, then the banning of cryptocurrency exchanges within national borders, bypassed, however, thanks to peer-to-peer transactions, and then the stop to mining (the activity of "excavation »To mine bitcoins). Finally, the recent squeeze on banks and payment companies, which have been forced to take a more active role in eliminating cryptocurrency exchanges.

With the blocking of transactions, the Asian country led by Xi Jinping (pictured) raises the level of confrontation.

A defensive move decided after Evergrande failed to redeem the five-year dollar bond. The Shenzen group now has a month to pay due, but it is almost certain that the rating agencies will declare a selective default, given that the company is not yet insolvent towards Chinese investors. But no one is under the illusion: if the Chinese government does not take the field, Evergrande will not be able to honor its commitments. There are two possible scenarios: a debt restructuring, which is very painful for bondholders; or a failure that would have repercussions on the Chinese real estate market, whose value is equal to 60 trillion dollars, on the growth of the former Celestial Empire and, perhaps, on the entire global economy. The European Central Bank is monitoring the situation, although President Christine Lagarde said yesterday that "direct exposure of the eurozone to Evergrande would be limited".