(USATODAY.com) - The price of a Bitcoin fell below $1,000 Thursday in the wake of a statement from China's central bank banning financial institutions from trading the virtual currency.
The People's Bank of China said in a statement on its website that Bitcoin isn't a currency with "real meaning" and that its legal status was different to other currencies.
Bloomberg reported that Bitcoins traded at $980.00 early evening Beijing time on BitStamp after trading as high as $1,138.58 prior to the announcement.
The PBOC said that while China's financial system is not currently at risk from Bitcoin trading, the digital currency does carry unacceptable risks including fostering a trading environment for excessive speculation and the threat of criminal exploitation.
However, the powerful central bank stopped short of imposing a ban on individual citizens using Bitcoins.
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