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Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/duyhoa_dao/

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/duyhoa_dao/

With all of the uncertainty and rumors surrounding the People’s Bank of China’s view of bitcoin, it’s only natural that every word from any semi-official source will come under close scrutiny. But that doesn’t mean that every rumor is equally valid, even when it comes from someone like Zhang Niannian. Posting to his personal Sina Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter) account last week, Zhang claimed that bitcoin exchanges were like casinos, and pleaded with his readers to “Cherish life, walk away from bitcoin.”

While it is true that Zhang is a manager working in an unknown capacity at the PBoC, it was recently confirmed by the Wall Street Journal that he is not involved in determining the central bank’s stance on bitcoin policy. Backtracking from his previous stance, Zhang claimed earlier today to be an “observer” with no inside information about the PBoC’s looming policy changes.

What’s more, he appears to have underestimated how many people mistook his personal observations for official policy. “Definitely going to get told off on Monday,” Zhang said in his latest post.

Fear around China’s rumored policy change (based on an unconfirmed report) has helped to drive down bitcoin price over the last several weeks, dropping from around $600 in the wake of the Mt.Gox implosion to roughly $450 over the weekend. All three of China’s best-known exchanges — BTC China, Huobi and OKCoin — have yet to receive any official notice of changes from their banks, the PBoC or any other official authority.

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