February 21, 2018

Has Winter come to Bitcoin with exchange closures in China ?

16 September 2017, 12:28 | Virginia Santiago

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The move comes after Chinese regulators banned fundraising through Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) on September 4th citing concerns over financial fraud and speculation.

News of an imminent halt in local trading at Huobi and OKCoin exchanges broke in the official China Securities Journal earlier today (link in Chinese). And leaked documents suggest that the rest will be required to do so before the end of the month.

"Please make sure to withdraw all your assets including CNY and cryptocurrency before September 30th, after which ViaBTC website will be officially closed in Mainland China".

China operates very strict controls on money flowing out of the country.

"Blockchain technology, which was initially used for BitCoin transactions, also has the potential to create a major disruption in the financial landscape".

It's an open question whether the digital currency has found a bottom or the correction has further to run as the ramifications of the exchange closures sink in. "They can become a tool for illegal fund flows and investment deals".

BTCC, one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in China has announced that it will cease trading in light of the government's tightening regulation. The central bank has announced that Chinese companies will no longer be allowed to issue units of electronic currency to lift funds.

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What's more, Chinese bitcoin markets account for approximately 98 percent of total bitcoin trading volume worldwide.

Thursday's news caused the price of the digital currency to fall by $644, or 16.6 percent, to $3,230, according to CoinDesk.

China isn't alone in sounding the alarm about bitcoin.

Following the failure of a bitcoin exchange in Japan called Mt. Gox, that country has enacted new laws to regulate bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. They also exercise significant power over changes to the Bitcoin protocol. Although there's a terrific arbitrage opportunity, removing bitcoin from a Chinese exchange would prove hard at this stage. Investors have poured more than a billion dollars into cryptocurrency startups since then. Users must present identification (e.g., a passport) and proof of residence in order to process their transactions.

Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH.

More intervention is expected.

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