Chinese payments giant Alipay has reiterated its anti-cryptocurrency stance, amid reports emerging this week that some users are funneling BTC transactions through the service.
The firm, which is the payments arm of e-commerce titan Alibaba, confirmed the move on Twitter, citing “irregular behavior” and the need to ensure ongoing compliance with regulations.
There're several reports about @Alipay being used for bitcoin transactions. To reiterate, Alipay closely monitors over-the-counter transactions to identify irregular behavior and ensure compliance with relevant regulations. [cont'd…]
— Alipay (@Alipay) October 10, 2019
Setting out the restrictive new policy, Alipay said any payments found to be related to BTC or other cryptocurrencies would “immediately stop” as soon as they were detected by the firm.
If any transactions are identified as being related to bitcoin or other virtual currencies, @Alipay immediately stops the relevant payment services.
It comes following a series of announcements that Alipay was being used for the purchase and supply of BTC and other cryptocurrencies.
Just this week, Binance said it was now accepting fiat payment via Alipay from its customers, alongside a new option for payments through messaging app WeChat. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that the exchange was not working directly with either Alipay or WeChat, though users were still able to use them for peer-to-peer transactions independent of the platform.
The announcement comes after Alipay announced peer-to-peer trading of a number of cryptocurrencies against the Chinese Yuan, including BTC, ETH, and USD stablecoin Tether.
Binance has been positioning to capitalize on the upcoming launch of a central bank digital currency, slated for introduction by the People’s Bank of China, China’s de facto central bank. However, the plans were delayed by the bank back in September, amid claims that a launch was imminent. At the time, the bank said there was no set date for the rollout of the cryptocurrency, despite rumors suggesting the launch was near.
The news of the ban of BTC transactions sees Alipay taking a more direct approach to tackling crypto payments on its platform. Designed for peer-to-peer transactions in fiat cryptocurrencies, the service is currently used by 520 million people, making it China’s largest third party online payments service.
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