china bitcoin timeline

Earlier this month, a Shanghai High People’s Court made a stunning statement. All of a sudden, Bitcoin is a legal virtual property according to this court. That took quite a few people by surprise. Especially looking at earlier crypto bans by China.

To put this in perspective, we are going to give you a timeline of China’s stance versus Bitcoin. Let’s have a look at how this worked out, China and Bitcoin.

1) 2009 Digital Currencies Banned

The year that Bitcoin introduced itself to the world. You would think China was on the ball, right? But, no, they aimed this ban at some video-game currencies. They were supposedly devaluing the yuan. For example, services and real-world goods were part of this ban. However, was this an early writing on the wall for things to come between China and Bitcoin?

Here is a picture that summarizes China’s banning policy against bitcoin:

China and Bitcoin

Source: Tradingview

2) 2013 China’s Banks Banned From Crypto Transactions

December 5th, 2013 is when it all started. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) issued a notice. Together with the Ministry of Industry and Information. From that day onwards, they banned banks from handling Bitcoin-related transactions.

The statement said that China considers bitcoin a “special virtual commodity”. In other words, ‘a currency without real value’. Furthermore, it said that there is no backing of Bitcoin by a central authority or country. Anybody can also use it for laundering cash. However, they still allowed individual Chinese people to trade in Bitcoin. The government did point out the potential risks for them.

As a result, Bitcoin crashed from its $1,000 price at that time. Mt. Gox, the biggest crypto exchange at the time being, noted a 30% price change.

On December 16th, third-party services stopped handling Bitcoin. This was after they met with PBoC officials.

Back in those days, BTC China (BTCC) was the largest crypto exchange in China. They didn’t accept yuan deposits anymore from December 18th onwards. This resulted in another drop in the Bitcoin price.

3) 2014 False Report on Bitcoin Ban

Although this turned out to be a false report, it caused some serious damage. FUD roared its ugly head and made some victims. In March 2014 Weibo published this news. This resulted in many liquidated positions. Plenty of traders and investors panicked and sold their Bitcoin. The price of Bitcoin now closed in on $400. Just three months before, it was at $1,000!

China and Bitcoin

Source: Pixabay

4) 2017 China Bans ICOs and Exchanges Must Leave

This is a big one for China and Bitcoin. The PBoC had not one but two surprises for the crypto space in 2017. China is facing a weakening yuan and tries to stop its outflow. In January, investigations started to look into anti-money laundering and forex management. Here are the results:

Come September 4th, China banned ICOs. The reason is that they are forms of public financing by illegal means. China’s financial regulators did not allow this.

Also, on December 15th, now every Chinese crypto exchange must leave China. They have until the end of September! The reason for this? Drug trafficking, smuggling, and money laundering. As a result, exchanges like Binance must move to other countries. Chinese traders continue to trade with VPN services. 

China and Bitcoin are now really starting to grow apart. The markets went down, but in December, BTC reached a new ATH of $20,000.

5) 2019 A Ban on Bitcoin Mining

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) confirmed the Bitcoin mining ban. This was in April, after rumors circulated already for a few months. Pollution and not sticking to Chinese laws are now the reasons given.

Because electricity was cheap in China, almost 50% of all mining activities took place there. Furthermore, China was and is an important manufacturer of mining rigs. They also lead in making GPUs.

6) 2020 China Enforces the Mining Ban

In May, local authorities in Sichuan were looking into banning BTC mining in the province. 

Moreover, October saw another crypto trading ban. The government threatens traders with a 5x fine of their holdings if caught trading.

In addition, December sees a crackdown on mining by the authorities in Yunnan province. This is where most Chinese miners have their rigs located. As a result, the hash rate drops. However, Bitcoin ends the year on a new ATH of $30,000. The has rate also recovered by that time.

China and Bitcoin

Source: Pixabay

7) 2021 China Bans Miners and Crypto Becomes Illegal

China targets Bitcoin mining once again. The same goes for crypto trading. After an April ATH of $64,000, BTC crashes to $30,000 in mid-May. This is partly due to the umpteenth Chinese crackdown.

Also, in June, they force miners to leave the country, and they start relocating. In August, crypto influencers come under scrutiny. As a result, many websites related to crypto close down.

Finally, in September, all crypto transactions become illegal. China and Bitcoin couldn’t be further apart by now.


Here’s the timeline for China and Bitcoin laid out for you. We started with some surprising news. In 2022, a Shanghai High People’s Court declared Bitcoin to be a legal virtual property. To top this off, it turns out that China provides 21.6% of the world’s hash rate. Despite banning it just 6 months earlier. So, what do we learn from this? Bitcoin seems to survive all the time. After every Chinese crackdown, we often see a bull run!

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