While Overstock.com announced last week that it has begun accepting Bitcoins as an online payment option, not all merchants are embracing the crypto-currency. The Chinese ecommerce platform Alibaba Group said in a statement that it has banned the controversial payment option from all its Taobao marketplaces.
This move comes just a few weeks after the Chinese government announced that it has banned all banks from using Bitcoin as an acceptable form of currency. According to an article from the New York Times, China restricted its banks from using Bitcoin, “citing concerns about money laundering and a threat to financial stability.”
The announcement banning Bitcoin from Chinese banks came from the People’s Bank of China, which said Bitcoin was “not a currency in the real meaning of the word but rather a virtual commodity that does not share the same legal status of a currency. Nor can, or should, it be circulated or used in the marketplace as a currency,” according to the New York Times article.
Florence Shih, a spokesperson for Alibaba, said in an emailed statement to Multichannel Merchant, “In the interest of consumer protection, we have banned the listing of Bitcoins on the Taobao Marketplace platform.”