PBOC Bitcoin Exchanges meeting highlights: What now for Bitcoin in China?

PBOC Bitcoin Exchanges meeting highlights: The central bank of China has released an official statement on its website, where it outlined the details. 

9 February, AtoZForex Following yesterday’s meeting between the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and representatives of several Bitcoin exchanges, the bank stated it met with other nine smaller exchanges. The meeting was held in order to discuss the risks and issues in the Bitcoin market. Moreover, the bank has warned them that in case they seriously violate country’s regulations, they might appear under the risk of closure.

PBOC Bitcoin Exchanges meeting highlights

Yesterday, the authorities from the PBOC have met with the representatives of several Bitcoin trading venues. Reportedly, the meeting was private and the topics of the discussion are not certain. However, people familiar with matters said that the money laundering issue was on agenda of the meeting. The online reports highlighted that the meeting was stressing the concerns that the regulatory oversight of the digital currency will get stricter.

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China’s central bank stated in an official statement it had informed the exchanges that they should not take part in any financial activities that suggest margin lending or allow money laundering. Moreover, the central bank of China mentioned that BTC100 and HaoBTC were among the meeting participants. The official statement from PBOC is as follows (translated from Mandarin):

"The recent bitcoin price is highly volatile. To prevent risks and uphold financial stability, PBOC Shanghai and Financial Office of Shanghai have jointly met the major heads of BTCC to know the current status of Bitcoin trading. "We have reminded BTCC of the possible risks and require it to operate strictly in accordance with the laws and regulations of China. We have urged BTCC to conduct self-examination based on the related laws and correct any possible irregularities."

BTCC and Huobi comments about meeting

COO of Huobi, Zhu Jiawei, confirmed that the exchange met with the PBOC. He has provided the following statement:

"Huobi will conduct strict self inspection according to requirements from PBOC and other authorities, and laws and regulations. Huobi also plans to establish an industry association with other companies to promote self discipline, and the formation of industry standards."

BTCC also confirmed meeting with the PBOC and issued the following statement:

"BTCC regularly meets with the PBOC and we work closely with them to ensure that we are operating in accordance with the laws and regulations of China. As the longest running exchange in the world, we have always adhered to strict AML/KYC policies and continue to be compliant with all current regulations in China."

What now for Bitcoin in China?

Starting from January 24th, 2017, four major Chinese Bitcoin exchanges have officially commenced charging trading fees to all users, investors, and traders. Specifically, these exchanges include BTCC, OKCoin, Huobi and Yunbi. Following yesterday’s meeting, BTC Trade made an announcement on its website that it will also start charge similar fees, effective 13 February 2017.

Moreover, it has stated that the gathering emerged amid current inspections into Huobi and OkCoin. These are the two largest trading platforms. The checks have commenced last month. In the beginning of January, PBOC has released the statement, where the central bank informed the public about its intentions in regards to Bitcoin activities across the country.

Specifically, the central bank has decided to inspect the Bitcoin enterprises across China. The formal statement of the central bank can be found on the official website of the PBOC in Mandarin. Chinese central bank appears to be closely eyeing the companies that are allegedly operating “beyond the scope of the enterprise and the market.”

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