(Bloomberg) -- Cryptocurrency stocks declined after China extended its crackdown to digital currencies, with its central bank saying all crypto-related transactions are illegal.

Argo Blockchain Plc slumped 10% in London, while Bitcoin miner Northern Data AG lost 2% in Frankfurt. In U.S. premarket trading, MicroStrategy Inc., the enterprise software company that has more than $5 billion of crypto assets, lost 3.5%. Riot Blockchain Inc. and Bit Digital Inc. each fell about 5%.

The comments by the People’s Bank of China sent cryptocurrencies tumbling, with Bitcoin falling below $44,000. Markets have been on edge as China has tightened its grip on sectors ranging from private education to digital gaming. The debt crisis at property developer China Evergrande Group has added to the tension.

“China authorities are forcing the available liquidity into the real economy,” said Xiadong Bao, an emerging-markets fund manager at Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management. While the move may not be direct fallout from Evergrande, the overall goal of China’s regulatory efforts is “less speculation, for example in property and crypto, and more sustainable development,” Bao said.

 

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