China to Shut Bitcoin Exchanges

12 September, 2017, 00:42 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • Bitcoin price falls

Prior to China's most recent clampdown on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin had been soaring as investors grew more optimistic about the future cost and speed of transactions.

China's looming ban on virtual currency trading won't affect the global market as exchanges based in other countries will continue to operate.

Under normal circumstances, a massive sell-off should have occurred when reports from Caixin and the Wall Street Journal were released about the plans of the People's Bank of China, the central bank of the country, to suspend or ban bitcoin trading platforms. China accounts for about 23 per cent of bitcoin trades and is also home to numerous world's biggest bitcoin miners, who confirm transactions in the digital currency.

The price of Bitcoin dropped sharply after news about a crackdown on virtual currency exchanges emerged on Friday. "Old users will definitely still trade, but the entry threshold for new users is now very high". Bitcoin's growing popularity in China may have caused the government to begin to perceive it as a threat to local currency, especially as Chinese investors bought up bitcoin and bet against the yuan past year. Bitcoin has jumped about 600 percent in dollar terms over the past year, part of a broad surge in virtual currencies that has fueled concerns of a bubble.

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At one point, exchanges in the country accounted for more than 90 per cent of the world's bitcoin transactions.

"There has been a general tightening of the screws on regulating financial and monetary conditions", said Mr Mark McFarland, chief economist at Union Bancaire Privee.

Spokeswomen for the OkCoin and Huobi platforms told Reuters they had no information to share following a report by Chinese financial publication Caixin that sent the price of bitcoin down 6.6 percent on Friday. 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. Buying Bitcoin was a way to bypass those rules.

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