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China might be banning Bitcoin exchanges
12 September 2017, 12:43 | Melanie Burgess
WSJ Bloomberg Latest to Claim Bitcoin Exchange Crackdown in China Sep 11 2017 at 13:00 UTC by Rachel Rose O'Leary
"This will definitely slow the development of cryptocurrencies in China".
It is still unsure whether the report of Caixin on the ban on bitcoin exchanges is accurate and if the Chinese government is considering imposing a temporary suspension on its local trading platforms.
The Chinese government did, however, ban ICOs - initial coin offerings - less than a month ago, sending cryptocurrencies plummeting.
The country accounts for about 23 per cent of bitcoin trades globally and is also home to numerous world's biggest bitcoin miners, who confirm transactions in the digital currency. China's central banksaid it could not immediately comment.
While governments around the world regulate and closely watch IPOs, ICOs are not regulated, and they have been used by many companies to raise funds without a guarantee that the token issuer will re-buy tokens and not run away with most of the funds.
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In a move that could severely affect the whole cryptocurrency industry, Chinese authorities are now planning to shut down domestic bitcoin exchanges across mainland China.
"Trading volume would definitely shrink". "Old users will definitely still trade, but the entry threshold for new users is now very high".
Bitcoin has jumped about 600 per cent in United States dollar terms over the past year, part of a broad surge in virtual currencies that has fuelled concerns of a bubble. 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 a year ago.
"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.
China's largest bitcoin exchanges are still awaiting clarification from the government following more media reports that Beijing is planning to ban trading of virtual currencies on domestic exchanges, but markets were largely subdued on Monday. With China being such a huge country, and one of the biggest Bitcoin miners in the world, it's no wonder that the price dropped significantly. This is the second major Bitcoin price fall this past two weeks.
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