An official of the People’s Bank of China (PBC) warned that an email box at the branch of the entity in Hefei, was hacked to send false e-mails. In it an invitation was made to participate in a press conference between the media, the PBC and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).
The official made it clear that the invitations made to several US media outlets are false, stating that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the People’s Bank of China are determined to take measures to put an end to “all aspects and services”. of the Bitcoin trade in mainland China and Hong Kong.”
The false information was released in the email, saying that both the PBC and the HKMA had planned to announce in Beijing on Wednesday, February 14, a new anti-money laundering directive that would extend the regulation to “all services and activities in virtual currency “, both for people and corporate entities.
The false email spread rumors according to which the Chinese authorities, despite understanding that the country is the base of the community of miners in the chain of Bitcoin blocks, were thinking of making the activity illegal, associating it with a risk for the markets traditional financial.
In addition, it made sure to put in force a supposed regulation that would take energetic actions against all the aspects and services related to the commerce of Bitcoin in mainland China and Hong Kong, letting see that the Chinese authorities already blocked the access to all the platforms of commerce of cryptocurrencies national and foreign.
The alleged regulation would be under the supervision of Pan Gongsheng, vice governor of the People’s Bank of China, and would constitute the new legal framework to regulate activities in a sector that includes “market makers, mining operators, business platforms and virtual wallets”, implying that the measure would put an end to all the companies and services related to cryptocurrency transactions in the Asian country.
The owner of the e-mail box, an official who worked at the People’s Bank of China’s office in Hefei, Anhui Province, said he was not aware of the message allegedly sent from his address. Later he added that his email had been hacked.
The South China Morning Post, did see that the invitation to the media was sent from a user address with the suffix @pbc.gov.cn, noting that it can be confused with the official address of the entity, since it is consistent with the protocol used by the PCB. The emails were sent with an attached registration form for the supposed informative session on February 14.
The emails sent by the journalists to the address, were returned with greetings responses to the media, including an explanation of the official spokespersons of those responsible for the monetary policy of Hong Kong and China, ensuring that no such event is scheduled. for that date, and that the email was false.
A clear attempt to manipulate through fear the Bitcoin community
Few medias globally covered the content of the email, and only some blogs and people through Twitter, ventured to spread the false information, which is undoubtedly a fraudulent attempt to manipulate the price of Bitcoin.
According to Leonhard Weese, president of the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, it is likely that the email was sent to instill panic in the entire Bitcoin community, trying to manipulate the news and achieve some effect on the price of cryptocurrencies, in a market already in itself unstable, where there are many traders that could be manipulated in that way.
The scammers have already spread false news to attack Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the past. In 2017, the price of Ethereum fell after the false rumor spread about the death of Vitalik Buterin, its founder. In that same year, the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed, driven by false reports that ensured that Amazon.com would accept payments with that currency on its online shopping site.
Despite the rumors, the price of Bitcoin has been recovering after falling to less than 6000 dollars, to reach a price of up to 8,100 dollars, according to specialized agencies.