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More than 1,100 people have been arrested in China after Beijing launched a crackdown on Bitcoin operations in the country.

China's Ministry of Public Security claimed the suspects used digital assets to launder profits from internet and telephone scams.

6More than 1,100 people were arrested as part nationwide police stingCredit: Reuters 6Bitcoin has almost halved in value since April, when it was trading at $63,000.
As of Thursday, it was worth $37,000Credit: AFP

In a swoop spanning 23 provinces, regions and cities, Chinese law enforcement on Wednesday rounded up more than 170 criminal networks who authorities say hired "coin farmers" to open crypto accounts after their bank accounts had been seized as part of a police sting.

The arrests have caused Bitcoin's value to plunge over fears Beijing could slap fresh restrictions on crypto trades.

From its peak of more than $63,000 in April, the cyber currency is now trading at about $37,000, according to Thursday's figures.

This comes amid a crackdown on bitcoin mining and "trading behaviour" by China's Politburo.

"The highly illegal income attracts a large number of people to participate, causing serious social harm," the ministry said.

In May, a parliamentary committee said a clampdown was needed to “resolutely prevent the transmission of individual risks to the social field".

The arrests have also cast doubt on the currency's mainstay of being "untraceable".

The price of Bitcoin dropped by almost 12 per cent on Tuesday as US authorities announced they were able to reclaim most of a bitcoin ransom that Colonial Pipeline paid to hacker group DarkSide in May.

Speaking the New York Post on Tuesday, CEO of trading platform Webull, Anthony Denier said: "Criminals have been using bitcoin because of the supposed inability of governments to get at it.

"If governments can claw it back, that hurts its appeal."

Chinese authorities claim criminals were using Bitcoin to launder proceeds from elaborate telephone and internet scams.

The move is part of a wider crackdown, which has so far seen three industry bodies ban crypto-related payments.

In late May, the government in the coal-rich region of Inner Mongolia published a raft of rules inhibiting cryptocurrency trades.

Authorities in the western province of Qinghai have also announced a ban on cryptocurrency mining, state-run news agency Xinhua Finance reported Thursday.

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Cryptocurrency is a secure form of digital money that is, in many cases, anonymous. They use encryption to secure transactions, and can be done with minimal processing fees.

Bitcoin is the world’s first decentralised digital currency – meaning there is no central bank or administrator.

The suspects have been charged with money laundering offences.


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Tags: bitcoin and cryptocurrencies the arrests money laundering governments because using bitcoin using bitcoin the suspects the suspects currency

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Suze Orman likes bitcoin. Here’s how she says you should invest in it

VIDEO8:3308:33Personal finance expert Suze Orman on investing in cryptoPower Lunch

Personal finance expert Suze Orman likes bitcoin.

Not as a currency, but as a long-term investment, the best-selling author told CNBC's "Power Lunch" Monday.

Back in April, she said she told listeners of her podcast, Women & Money (And Everyone Smart Enough To Listen), "Any money that you can afford to lose, then I don't have a problem with you investing in bitcoin."

She's still giving that advice, but is warning of the possibility that it can go back down to its May lows of about $30,000 or even to $26,000.

"You have to hold it for the long run," said Orman, author of "The Ultimate Retirement Guide for 50+."

Bitcoin has surged over the past several years, gaining some mainstream support from corporations and big banks. However, it's a volatile investment, which leads many financial experts to urge caution to retail investors who want to pile in.

More from Invest in You:
Suze Orman: Here's how you should calculate your net worth
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Currently, 14% of financial advisors are using or recommend investing in cryptocurrencies, a recent survey from the Financial Planning Association and the Journal of Financial Planning found.

Orman believes it is a legitimate investment over time in part because major corporations have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into it.

On top of that, American youth like it, she said.

"You really have to validate them as to where they are going."

Bitcoin's volatility can be evidenced in its surge after remarks from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who said on Sunday the electric vehicle maker would accept bitcoin transactions again in the future. Prices continued to rise on Monday after billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones told CNBC he favored bitcoin.

Similarly, in May, when Musk tweeted Tesla suspended vehicle purchases using the cryptocurrency, the price dropped about 5% within minutes.

"I don't like that one man can come out and say something and it controls the market," Orman said.

VIDEO1:2501:25Suze Orman: Here's the best way to pay off debtInvest in You: Ready. Set. Grow.

She also doesn't like that bitcoin is what cybercriminals usually demand in ransomware attacks.

"Will the government come in and start to regulate it and everything?" Orman said.

"I don't know, but I still think for the long run ... it's a place to put some money and just leave it, but not a lot."

If you don't like investing in bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, there are other ways to get exposure. There are companies that invest in bitcoin or related technology.

For instance, Orman bought MicroStrategy, which invests in bitcoin, in June of 2020 at $125 a share, and later sold it for $1,030 per share.

She also likes payment company Square, which bought $170 million worth of bitcoin in February. Earlier this month, CEO Jack Dorsey said the company was considering building a hardware bitcoin wallet.

"There are other ways to play it other than just simply buying the crypto itself," Orman said.

Register now: Invest in Pride: Ready. Set. Grow. featuring Suze Orman. She will discuss the most pressing issues currently facing small business owners and answering their questions about how they can manage their personal and business finances.

SIGN UP: Money 101 is an 8-week learning course to financial freedom, delivered weekly to your inbox.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.

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