China cracks down on cryptocurrency, banning transactions and mining.

The clampdown comes as China’s central bank has been testing its own digital currency, the electronic Chinese yuan. The price of Bitcoin fell by about 7 percent on the news.

Daily Business Briefing

Sept. 24, 2021Updated Sept. 24, 2021, 8:10 a.m. ETSept. 24, 2021, 8:10 a.m. ET

The clampdown comes as China’s central bank has been testing its own digital currency, the electronic Chinese yuan. The price of Bitcoin fell by about 7 percent on the news.

The U.S. could run out of cash to pay its bills as early as Oct. 15, analysts say.Delta urges airlines to create a national ‘no fly’ list of problematic passengers.New York passes sweeping bills to improve conditions for delivery workers.Follow the Elizabeth Holmes trial with our reporters in the courtroom.


A worker in a cryptocurrency farm in Dujiangyan in China’s southwestern Sichuan province.Credit…Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

China intensified its crackdown on cryptocurrency on Friday, calling all financial transactions involving cryptocurrencies illegal and issuing a nationwide ban on cryptocurrency mining.

In a joint statement by 11 Chinese government entities, authorities vowed to work closely to punish “illegal” crypto mining activities to help prevent the “hidden risks caused by the blind and disorderly development” of the industry and to help the country achieve its carbon reduction goals.

China’s central bank announced that services offering trading, order matching, token issuance and derivatives for virtual currencies would be strictly prohibited. The bank also said that overseas crypto exchanges providing services in mainland China were also illegal.

Less than three hours after the notice was posted by China’s central bank, Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, had dropped by about 7 percent, to around $41,100.

The clampdown comes as China’s central bank has been testing its own digital currency, the electronic Chinese yuan. The notice posted by the central bank explicitly called out Bitcoin and Ether for being issued by “non-monetary authorities,” suggesting that the electronic Chinese yuan, or eCNY, would not be affected by the latest announcements.

The moves on Friday were the latest signal of Beijing’s determination to turn the screws on cryptocurrencies, which it has long viewed as a threat to its control over capital flows in the country. China banned domestic cryptocurrency exchanges years ago, but statements in recent months from top policymakers and in state media have suggested the desire to further control financial risks.

In May, China’s State Council, or cabinet, vowed to crack down on bitcoin trading and mining, leading local authorities in several parts of China to shut down crypto mining operations. As recently as 2017, China made more than two-thirds of all Bitcoin issued daily.

The latest announcements also come amid a regulatory blitz that has seen Chinese authorities cracking down on the country’s booming tech, education and property sectors.

The Treasury Department building. The federal government could run out of cash next month.Credit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

The federal government could run out of cash and start missing payments on things as diverse as Social Security and military pay sometime between Oct. 15 and Nov. 4, according to a new analysis from the Bipartisan Policy Center.

That analysis, released on Friday as Congress is debating whether to lift America’s borrowing cap, showed a narrower window during which the United States could default on its debt if the limit on what the United States can borrow is not raised.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress have shown no signs of progress at breaking a stalemate over raising or suspending the debt limit — which restricts the government’s ability to borrow money to pay its bills. The congressional dysfunction leaves the United States potentially less than a month away from what economists warn would be a catastrophic economic shock.

“New data demonstrate that Congress has only weeks to address the debt limit,” Shai Akabas, director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said in a statement. “If they don’t, the U.S. government risks missing or delaying critical bills that will come due in mid-October that millions of Americans rely on, from military paychecks and retirement benefits to advanced child tax credit payments.”

The United States officially hit its statutory debt limit in late July, but the Treasury Department has been using “extraordinary measures” to curb or delay investments and stave off a default. Predicting the true deadline is harder this year because government payments related to the pandemic have reduced clarity about when certain taxes will be collected and when federal money is flowing out the door.

If Congress fails to act, the United States will be in uncharted territory.

In its analysis, the policy center said that if the true deadline for breaching the debt limit was Oct. 15, the earliest end of its projected range, the Treasury Department would be about $265 billion short of paying all its bills through mid-November. About 40 percent of the money that is owed would go unpaid.

“Realistically, on a day-to-day basis, fulfilling all payments for important and popular programs would quickly become impossible,” the report said, pointing to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and military active-duty pay.

The Treasury Department has said it has no official contingency plan if the debt limit is breached. However, in previous standoffs, Treasury officials have contemplated what they would do.

The Bipartisan Policy Center notes that the Treasury could try to prioritize payments, which essentially means paying some bills and not others. It could also choose to delay all bills and then make payments once enough revenue had been received to cover the payments due for an entire day.

However, either of these situations would present legal and logistical problems and probably shake up the markets as the Treasury Department struggled to pick winners and losers.

“The reality would inevitably be chaotic,” the report said.

Delta Air Lines said a central list would help prevent barred customers from simply flying with another carrier.Credit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

Delta Air Lines is urging airlines to respond to the extraordinary surge in unruly behavior in the skies by creating a national “no fly” list of barred customers, according to a memo sent to flight attendants on Wednesday.

Delta already has more than 1,600 people on its own “no fly” list, according to the memo.

“We’ve also asked other airlines to share their ‘no fly’ list to further protect airline employees across the industry — something we know is top of mind for you as well,” wrote Kristen Manion Taylor, Delta’s senior vice president of in-flight services. “A list of banned customers doesn’t work as well if that customer can fly with another airline.”

This list would be different from the longstanding government No-Fly List, which passengers may already be familiar with. That list was created to thwart terrorism and is maintained by the F.B.I., not airlines, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said. (Inclusion on that list may not only keep a person off a plane but also block noncitizens from entering the United States, among other consequences.)

The Delta memo did not include criteria for the airline’s “no fly” list, but referred to an upcoming hearing in the House on Thursday on air rage in the skies.

During the hearing, Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants union, testified that the F.A.A. had logged 4,284 “unruly passenger reports” since January. About three-quarters of them were related to wearing masks on planes, she said; 61 percent of disruptive passengers also used racist, sexist or homophobic slurs, she said.

“If we continue at this rate, there may be more incidents in 2021 than in the entire history of aviation,” Ms. Nelson said.

From 2015 to 2020, the F.A.A. initiated 789 investigations into unruly passenger behavior.

Ms. Nelson urged the creation of a central list of passengers who would be barred from flying for a set period, with airlines given access to it.

Teddy Andrews, a flight attendant at American Airlines, testified that a passenger, who was neither eating nor drinking, had responded to Mr. Andrews’s plea to put his mask back on by using a racial slur.

“It feels like flight attendants have become the target for all kinds of frustrations that some people are feeling,” Mr. Andrews said.

Delta declined to comment on how other airlines had responded to its push to create a “no fly” list, which was reported earlier by Reuters.

New York City is home to the largest food delivery market in the country. The slate of legislation would set minimum pay for workers and enable them to set limits on how far they are willing to travel.Credit…David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

New York became the first city in the nation to take aggressive steps to improve conditions for food delivery workers, approving on Thursday a groundbreaking package of legislation that will set minimum pay and address the plight of couriers employed by app-based services like Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats.

The legislation prevents the food delivery apps and courier services from charging workers fees to receive their pay; makes the apps disclose their gratuity policies; prohibits the apps from charging delivery workers for insulated food bags, which can cost up to $50; and requires restaurant owners to make bathrooms available to delivery workers.

Other cities have taken steps to restrict the food delivery apps, but no city has gone as far as New York, which is home to the largest and most competitive food delivery market in the country, Jeffery C. Mays reports for The New York Times.

Erin Griffith (@eringriffith) and Erin Woo (@erinkwoo), two of our tech reporters, are covering the trial of Elizabeth Holmes, who dropped out of Stanford University to create the blood testing start-up Theranos at age 19 and built it to a $9 billion valuation and herself into the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire — only to flame out in disgrace after Theranos’s technology was revealed to have problems.

Follow along here or on Twitter as she is tried on 12 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The trial is generally held Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Erin Griffith

Mattis is done and now a prosecutor is reading text messages between Holmes and Balwani while a forensics guy from PWC says “yes” and “correct.” I guess this is how they have to present this evidence but it is really really bizarre.

Erin Griffith

On redirect: Why did Mattis initially support Holmes after the WSJ expose and then change his mind? There were too many surprises, he said. “We were unable to help her on the fundamental issues that she was grappling with if we only saw them in the rearview mirror.”

Erin Griffith

We look at Mattis’ emailed response to Holmes after the WSJ article. “Be swift in response with unassailable truth,” he wrote. “I have full faith in our plan.”

Erin Griffith

He also asks if Mattis knew Theranos was doing blood tests in a central lab.
Mattis: “I assumed the central Theranos lab was the Theranos machine.”

Erin Griffith

In cross-exam, Holmes lawyer Kevin Downey asked Gen. Mattis about his qualifications to evaluate Theranos’s technology and be a board director.

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