What just happened? The Chinese government's long-running battle against crypto took a drastic turn earlier today when the country's central bank said all cryptocurrency-related transactions are illegal and must be banned. The announcement has seen the price of BTC plummet from $45,200 to $42,675 in the space of two hours.

The People's Bank of China on its website wrote that all cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Tether, are not fiat currency and cannot be circulated on the market. Reuters reports that the PBOC will bar financial institutions, payment companies, and internet firms from facilitating cryptocurrency trading, and will strengthen monitoring of risks from such activities. It also banned overseas exchanges from providing services to mainland investors in China via the internet.

Transactions are "resolutely banned in accordance with the law," the PBOC said in its statement.

Elsewhere, China's economic planning agency said it is urgent that the country root out crypto mining and the crackdown is essential in efforts to meet carbon goals.

It's been noted that the PBOC originally released the updated guidance earlier this month but posted it online today.

It was back in May that a Chinese State Council committee led by Vice Premier Liu He announced a crackdown on virtual currencies as part of efforts to curb financial risks, crashing Bitcoin's price and causing mining businesses to cease operations. It also led to GPU prices falling in the nation and crypto miners selling off their graphics cards. ASRock at the time said the lower demand was dropping graphics card prices globally. It's possible that making all cryptocurrency transactions illegal in a country that accounts for up to 70% of the world's crypto supply will once again affect graphics card prices on a global scale.