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The bitcoin price has crashed under the psychological $20,000 per bitcoin level it first crossed in late 2017 before entering a bruising three-year bear market that saw the bitcoin price fall to under $3,000.
Now, with some expecting the crypto crash to reveal the world’s future technology giants, executives at China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN)—a state-backed initiative designed to drive the commercial adoption of blockchain technology—have branded bitcoin and cryptocurrency “the biggest Ponzi scheme in human history.”
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“The author of this article believes that virtual currency is becoming the largest Ponzi scheme in human history, and in order to maintain this scam, the currency circle has tried to put on various cloaks for it,” Shan Zhiguang, chair of the BSN Development Alliance, and He Yifan, the chief executive of startup Red Date Technology and BSN executive director, wrote in the state-sponsored China newspaper the People’s Daily last month.
BSN is a Beijing-backed network for blockchain developers in China and is intended to operate globally, with separate international and domestic versions to comply with rules in China. In recent years, China has begun the rollout of a digital yuan central bank digital currency that while partly inspired by bitcoin and cryptocurrency doesn’t use bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology.
The pair pointed to bitcoin and crypto criticism from Microsoft
“All Ponzi schemes must have a steady stream of new investors to join in, so that the whole scheme can be maintained,” the authors wrote.
“Once there is malicious short-selling, no successor, tight funds, or regulatory policy changes that affect the confidence of participants or the determination of latecomers, it will cause this seemingly exquisite cycle to collapse instantaneously and the value will be zero,” echoing a report last month in China’s Economic Daily newspaper that predicted “once investors’ confidence collapses or when sovereign countries declare bitcoin illegal, it will return to its original value, which is utterly worthless.”
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Last year, a broad bitcoin and crypto crackdown in China crashed the bitcoin price and sparked panic among crypto investors after the Chinese Communist Party ordered all bitcoin miners—who use powerful computers to secure the bitcoin network and validate transactions in return for fresh bitcoins—to shut down.
In September, China’s central bank declared all bitcoin and cryptocurrency transactions illegal, promising to take action against anyone facilitating crypto transactions and warning offshore exchanges away from China.