Bitcoin Price Drops After China Intensifies Crypto Crackdown
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    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,480,538 (+0.01%)       Melbourne $960,899 (-0.26%)       Brisbane $805,943 (+0.49%)       Adelaide $760,890 (+0.51%)       Perth $651,708 (+0.03%)       Hobart $728,895 (+0.57%)       Darwin $613,579 (0%)       Canberra $946,216 (+2.14%)       National $956,035 (+0.37%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $696,616 (-0.38%)       Melbourne $470,588 (+0.14%)       Brisbane $450,511 (+0.19%)       Adelaide $370,041 (+0.13%)       Perth $363,377 (-0.48%)       Hobart $568,887 (+1.25%)       Darwin $342,547 (-0.28%)       Canberra $488,335 (+0.42%)       National $491,956 (+0.17%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 7,426 (+91)       Melbourne 10,303 (-71)       Brisbane 8,928 (-39)       Adelaide 2,407 (+20)       Perth 7,995 (-258)       Hobart 874 (-2)       Darwin 238 (-2)       Canberra 758 (-3)       National 38,557 (-264)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 6,833 (-17)       Melbourne 6,618 (-36)       Brisbane 1,828 (-2)       Adelaide 460 (-11)       Perth 2,177 (-9)       Hobart 126 (-3)       Darwin 336 (+5)       Canberra 425 (+7)       National 18,641 (-66)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $680 (+$15)       Melbourne $500 ($0)       Brisbane $560 (-$10)       Adelaide $520 (-$10)       Perth $550 ($0)       Hobart $560 (-$5)       Darwin $700 (+$5)       Canberra $700 (-$20)       National $606 (-$3)                    UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $600 ($0)       Melbourne $450 ($0)       Brisbane $498 ($0)       Adelaide $420 (-$8)       Perth $480 ($0)       Hobart $485 (+$13)       Darwin $550 ($0)       Canberra $550 (-$10)       National $514 (-$1)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 6,843 (+487)       Melbourne 6,880 (+741)       Brisbane 4,325 (+498)       Adelaide 1,251 (+157)       Perth 1,748 (+277)       Hobart 262 (+34)       Darwin 133 (+14)       Canberra 709 (+61)       National 21,516 (+2,269)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,300 (+770)       Melbourne 5,973 (+745)       Brisbane 1,753 (+273)       Adelaide 410 (+74)       Perth 731 (+171)       Hobart 119 (+13)       Darwin 249 (+21)       Canberra 641 (+63)       National 17,293 (+2,130)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 2.34% (↑)      Melbourne 2.69% (↑)        Brisbane 3.58% (↓)       Adelaide 3.60% (↓)     Perth 4.40% (↑)        Hobart 4.04% (↓)     Darwin 5.81% (↑)        Canberra 3.76% (↓)       National 3.30% (↓)            UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 4.47% (↑)        Melbourne 5.00% (↓)       Brisbane 5.88% (↓)       Adelaide 6.19% (↓)     Perth 7.21% (↑)      Hobart 4.59% (↑)      Darwin 8.41% (↑)        Canberra 5.89% (↓)       National 5.43% (↓)            HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 1.6% (↑)      Melbourne 1.8% (↑)      Brisbane 0.5% (↑)      Adelaide 0.5% (↑)      Perth 1.0% (↑)      Hobart 0.9% (↑)      Darwin 1.1% (↑)      Canberra 0.5% (↑)      National 1.2% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 2.3% (↑)      Melbourne 2.8% (↑)      Brisbane 1.2% (↑)      Adelaide 0.7% (↑)      Perth 1.3% (↑)      Hobart 1.4% (↑)      Darwin 1.3% (↑)      Canberra 1.3% (↑)      National 2.1% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND       Sydney 35.4 (↑)      Melbourne 35.9 (↑)      Brisbane 42.8 (↑)      Adelaide 34.8 (↑)      Perth 43.1 (↑)      Hobart 37.2 (↑)      Darwin 49.3 (↑)      Canberra 38.3 (↑)      National 39.6 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND       Sydney 39.7 (↑)      Melbourne 36.4 (↑)      Brisbane 43.7 (↑)      Adelaide 33.8 (↑)      Perth 46.2 (↑)      Hobart 48.9 (↑)        Darwin 45.9 (↓)     Canberra 33.7 (↑)      National 41.0 (↑)            
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Bitcoin Price Drops After China Intensifies Crypto Crackdown

Authorities order Ant Group and state banks to root out cryptocurrency-related activities,

By Xie Yu, Chong Koh Ping and Joe Wallace
Tue, Jun 22, 2021 10:07amGrey Clock 3 min

The price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies slid Monday after China’s central bank ordered the country’s largest banks and payment processors to take a more active role in curbing cryptocurrency trading and related activities.

The People’s Bank of China on Monday said it summoned representatives of multiple institutions—including state-owned commercial banks and Ant Group Co.’s Alipay—and told them to “strictly implement” recent notices and guidelines from authorities on curbing risks tied to bitcoin and cryptocurrency fundraising activities. It was the latest sign that Beijing is intensifying its crackdown on unregulated virtual currencies.

Bitcoin slipped to $32,622, down 9% from Friday, according to CoinDesk. That marked bitcoin’s lowest price at 5 p.m. ET since late January.

Ethereum, the second-biggest cryptocurrency by market value according to trading platform Kraken, lost 14% to $1,941. Dogecoin, which started as a joke in 2013 before setting the internet abuzz and shooting up in price this year, 27% to about 21 cents in its eighth consecutive daily decline.

The financial firms were also instructed to go through their systems to investigate and identify customers with accounts at virtual-currency exchanges or that trade cryptocurrencies in the over-the-counter market. In such cases, the institutions have to cut off the accounts’ ability to send or receive money for transactions, the central bank said.

Chinese authorities have stepped up a nationwide campaign against virtual currencies in recent weeks, after a powerful superregulator pledged to crack down on cryptocurrency trading and mining in the country.

The regulatory warnings followed a spike in the price of bitcoin, which traded near $65,000 in mid-April, spurred on by celebrity advocates including Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk. It has since lost close to half its value.

Among the factors weighing on bitcoin and its peers are the prospect of greater regulatory oversight of crypto trading in the U.S. and renewed efforts by Chinese authorities to restrain the production of bitcoin by power-hungry computers.

China several years ago imposed bans on domestic cryptocurrency exchanges and digital-currency fundraisings known as initial coin offerings. Authorities also previously instructed payment providers and banks to stop providing virtual-currency trading and related services, and ordered the closing of mines.

Despite those efforts, China has remained a hotbed for cryptocurrency mining.

Up to three-quarters of the world’s supply of bitcoin has been produced in China, but the mining process devours electricity—conflicting with the government’s climate goals.

People in China have also continued to trade bitcoin and other digital currencies via peer-to-peer transactions that involve direct money transfers between accounts.

Some cryptocurrency trading platforms that operate offshore have been facilitating trades between people who want to buy bitcoin with China’s domestic currency, the yuan. In such instances, buyers have used accounts at banks or digital-payments providers to transfer money to people selling cryptocurrencies, often without disclosing the purpose of the transfers.

The PBOC on Monday warned of the risks to economic and financial stability created by virtual currencies, and the potential for the assets to be used for illegal activities. Chinese police recently arrested more than a thousand people who were suspected of using cryptocurrencies to launder ill-gotten funds.

Alipay said it would intensify efforts to monitor and investigate its accounts for cryptocurrency-related transactions, and block or remove offending users. The popular digital payments platform is used by more than one billion people in China and more than 80 million merchants.

Alipay also plans to use risk algorithm models to help detect abnormal transactions, flag suspicious activities, and restrict certain accounts from receiving money. It added that merchants that have engaged in virtual currency transactions would be blacklisted and banished from its platform.

“We reiterate that Alipay does not conduct or participate in any business activity related to virtual currencies,” its statement said.

Five banks, including Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., Agricultural Bank of China Ltd., China Construction Bank Corp., Postal Savings Bank of China Co. Ltd., and Industrial Bank Ltd., said in separate statements that they prohibit the use of their accounts for virtual currency transactions.

They pledged to promptly put a stop to such transactions, close bank accounts and report signs of such activities to the authorities. They also called on members of the public to report virtual currency-related transactions to the banks.

Chen Shujin, an analyst at Jefferies, said the central bank’s directive to the financial firms is aimed at cutting off payment mechanisms used by Chinese individuals and businesses involved in cryptocurrency trading and mining. She said peer-to-peer transactions, however, are difficult to track and identify because they tend to be small-scale and anonymous.

“This will make it harder [for people to trade], but it won’t be able to completely shut down this type of transactions,” Ms. Chen said. She added that some individuals could try to get around the rules by remitting funds overseas and conducting cryptocurrency transactions offshore in other currencies.

Corrections & Amplifications
Chinese police recently arrested more than a thousand people who were suspected of using cryptocurrencies to launder ill-gotten funds. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said police made thousands of arrests. It also incorrectly had reporter Chong Koh Ping’s byline as Chong Koh. (Corrected on June 21.)

 

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: June 21, 2021.

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Most economists and the major banks are predicting a rise of 25 basis points will be announced, although the Commonwealth Bank suggests that the RBA may take the unusual step of a 40 basis point rise to bring the interest rate up to a more conventional 3.5 percent. This would allow the RBA to step back from further rate rises for the next few months as it assesses the impact of tightening monetary policy on the economy.

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Higher interest rates have coincided with falling home values, which Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee says are down 6.1 percent in capital cities since peaking in March 2022. The pain has been greatest in Sydney, where prices have dropped 10.8 percent since February last year. Melbourne and Canberra recorded similar, albeit smaller falls, while capitals like Adelaide, which saw property prices fall 1.8 percent, are less affected.

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“Many of the drivers of high prices are starting to be resolved. Shipping costs are now down almost 90 per cent from their October 2021 peak (as measured by the Baltic Dry Index), while crude oil prices have almost halved from March 2022. China is back open and international migration has started up again. 

“Even construction costs look like they are close to plateau. Importantly, US inflation has pulled back from its peak of 9.1 per cent in June to 6.5 per cent in December, with many of the drivers of inflation in this country similar to Australia.”

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