It’s targeted Bitcoin mining, the energy-intensive computing process involved in creating the digital currency and verifying transactions. It prohibited financial institutions and payment service providers from getting involved in crypto trades even tangentially — like opening a bank account for those who engage in them. In 2017, China told exchanges to stop trading in cryptocurrencies and banned initial coin offerings, or ICOs, which are the equivalent of initial public offerings for new virtual currencies. In May, the State Council — China’s cabinet — called for a renewed crackdown on Bitcoin mining and trading activities. (They had been dropped in 2019 from a proposed list of dirty industries to be eliminated.) China’s central bank summoned officials from major state-owned banks and payment-service provider Alipay to a meeting in June to reiterate a ban on crypto-related services.