By DAVID BARBOZA
SHANGHAI — China made public on Tuesday regulations aimed at cracking down on the use of virtual currencies amid worries that a huge underground economy was developing out of the country’s online gaming community.
The rules, issued jointly by the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Culture in Beijing, could deal a blow to the country’s fast-growing online gaming industry.
Beijing said the regulations would curtail trading in virtual currencies, prevent online gambling and restrict virtual currency from being exchanged for cash or used to buy real goods.
Among other things, Chinese officials have worried that online currencies could ultimately serve as an alternative to China’s official currency, the renminbi, and have an impact on the country’s financial system.