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China's central bank hit by DDoS after Bitcoin blitz

Reports claim revenge attack after digi-currency restrictions

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Angry Bitcoin users are suspected of DDoS-ing the website of China’s central bank following tough new restrictions it levied this week which appear to have forced the world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange into meltdown.

Chinese news site 163.com (via The Diplomat) claimed that the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) web site and weibo account were down intermittently yesterday, possibly as a result of a flood of traffic from abroad.

Both appear to be working as normal today, however the bank will do well to prepare itself for a prolonged cyber backlash – there are plenty of digital currency users and traders all over the world with an eye on revenge given recent events in the Middle Kingdom.

It emerged earlier this week that the PBOC had ordered third party payment providers to stop offering clearing services to Bitcoin exchanges, following on from a previous missive on December 5 that banks were also to cease their dealings with the digi-currency.

Although the news has yet to be officially confirmed by PBOC, it seems to have forced the hand of BTC China, the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, which on Wednesday announced it would no longer be accepting deposits in Chinese yuan.

According to some estimates, approaching half of all Bitcoin transactions in China come from third party payment providers like Tencent’s Tenpay.

The news sent the price of Bitcoin plummeting 60 per cent on BTC from a December 1 high, according to Reuters. The Chinese exchange accounts for around a third of the global Bitcoin trades.

It’s far from game over for the crypto-currency because individuals in China are still legally allowed to buy and sell Bitcoins. They just have fewer options when they choose to do so.

However, traders in the Middle Kingdom were responsible for much of the currency’s surging popularity over the past year and if things are going the way they are and Bitcoin is eventually forced from the PRC, it’ll be another big wake-up call. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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