Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Alibaba Bans Bitcoin

Chinese ecommerce group Alibaba is banning Bitcoin from its shopping websites, a move that further consigns the virtual currency to the margins of the world’s second-biggest economy, reports FT.

On Alibaba’s Taobao, China’s biggest online shopping platform, Bitcoin had carved out a niche in spite of the fact that Alibaba itself refused to accept or support Bitcoin payments.

Dozens of individual merchants had said they would accept Bitcoin as payment for products including facial creams, tea cups, jeans and crabs. Some merchants were using Taobao to sell Bitcoins, while others were offering the specially designed computer chips needed to “mine” the virtual currency.

Now all those business ventures will have to come to a halt. Alibaba said that as of January 14 it would stop its users from doing any deals in Bitcoins or other virtual currencies such as Litecoins, and would bar merchants from selling any Bitcoin mining software or offering any related products.

1 comment:

  1. That's actually surprising given that Alibaba itself wasn't dealing with Bitcoin at all. One would think they would be more interested in the commission from sales generated by their associates. I wonder whether this has anything to do with the Chinese government's recent regulations on Bitcoins.