An official from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) took to social media to voice his doubts and skepticism about bitcoin, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The official, Zhang Niannian, posted on Sina Weibo on Friday, comparing bitcoin exchanges to casinos and asking questions like “Aren’t you afraid that a bitcoin platform will leave with your money?” and “Do you think the court would protect you?”
Niannian’s comments come in the midst of a rumor swirl in which Chinese media is reporting that the People’s Bank of China will be barring banks and third-party payment processors from dealing with bitcoin exchanges.
Despite this news not yet being confirmed by PBOC, nor any of the major exchanges reportedly subject to the ban, investors in the bitcoin community have reacted swiftly by panic selling.
As a result, the price dipped to about $500 per bitcoin, driving down to below $450 this weekend.
And while Niannian makes no mention of the rumors, he had some advice for the folks looking to get involved with or may already be involved with bitcoin:
“Cherish life, walk away from bitcoin,” he said.
He reportedly retracted the post a day later on Saturday, adding that he’s “Definitely going to get told off on Monday.”
Zhang Niannian dubs himself as a “manager” at the People’s Bank in China, though it’s not entirely clear what his duties entail. Though it should be noted that in a December 2013 press statement from the PBOC, he was the only name listed as a media contact.
What do you make of Mr. Zhang’s advice to walk away from bitcoin?