China Is Said to Ban Bitcoin Exchanges While Allowing OTC Trades

Illustration by Alex Castro  The Verge

Illustration by Alex Castro The Verge

China is home to vast and lucrative cryptocurrency mining operations for both Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocoins.

Bitcoin slumped on Friday after Caixin magazine reported China's plans, capping the virtual currency's biggest weekly retreat in almost two months.

On September 4, China's Central Bank banned ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) citing that ICOs have "seriously disrupted the economic and financial order".

Bitcoin price took a huge fall on Friday after Caixin, a Chinese financial magazine, reported that Chinese Central Bank officials are working on rules to ban the trading of Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies on Chinese exchanges.

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BTC China, the second-largest exchange, has responded to the crackdown with its own statement.

China accounts for 23 percent of all Bitcoin trades and houses some of the most successful Bitcoin miners.

"Trading volume would definitely shrink".

The need for clarification follows yesterday's report that China plans to shut local Bitcoin exchanges that Greg posted here and which resulted in prices tumbling. "Old users will definitely still trade, but the entry threshold for new users is now very high".

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One of bitcoin's biggest influencers, Crypto Compare's Charles Hayter, said to CNBC recently that for China "nothing is ever certain" when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin has jumped about 600 per cent in U.S. dollar terms over the past year, part of a broad surge in virtual currencies that has fuelled concerns of a bubble. As regulations tightened, China's share has slid to less than 30%. The Chinese bitcoin exchanges have also confirmed that they have not received any such intimation from the authorities and this has helped the bitcoin prices to bounce again from the $4000 region for the second time in a week.

The daily trading volume of the Chinese bitcoin exchange market has almost doubled that of the USA bitcoin exchange market, surging above 45,000 bitcoins.

"Whenever you start to hear about Hong Kong taxi drivers becoming millionaires from buying bitcoin, you start to think this is not necessarily driven by fundamentals", he said.

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