Alibaba’s Ant Financial Is Monitoring And Blocking OTC Crypto Trading

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Alibaba’s financial wing Ant Financial is working together with Chinese regulators to crack down on peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading using its Alipay mobile app.

On Friday, Beijing News reported that Ant Financial is increasing its efforts monitor both merchant and customer accounts that offer over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trading.

In addition to that, the firm will also be monitoring notable sites that have integrated Alipay into their system.

While commenting on this latest development, a spokesperson from Ant Financial stated that Alipay adheres to the set rules of providing cryptocurrency transaction services. He added that:

We have been and will continue to closely monitor over-the-counter trading activities. If we find any transactions that we suspect are related to virtual currencies, we take appropriate measures including, but not limited to suspension of related fund transfers and permanently restricting payment collection functions of accounts involved.

Ant Financial, however, didn’t give any details on how many accounts it has discovered so far that are involved in cryptocurrency trading.

Chinese authorities ban 124 overseas cryptocurrency exchanges

This latest development comes a few hours after authorities in China revealed that they are looking to block the internet access to over 120 overseas cryptocurrency exchange platforms. The affected exchanges are still providing crypto trading services to Chinese investors.

Alipay isn’t the only financial transaction firm that is monitoring online transactions. Reports have indicated that Tencent’s WeChat Pay is monitoring and blocking suspected crypto-related accounts.

The People’s Bank of China in September last year placed a ban on crypto trading and initial coin offerings. The ban has led to 88 local cryptocurrency exchanges and 85 ICO platforms been forced out of the country.

The Bitcoin-for-yuan trading as a result of the ban dipped from 90% of the global market to less than 5%.

Cryptocurrency exchanges operating overseas have been offering their crypto-to-fiat OTC trading services with the aid of Alipay, WeChat Pay, and bank transfers. Now it will be even harder for them to do so.

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