Economy

China bitcoin exchanges awaiting clarification on closure report

China bitcoin exchanges awaiting clarification on closure report”

China's largest bitcoin exchanges said on Monday they were still awaiting clarification from the government following more media reports that Beijing was planning to ban trading of virtual currencies on domestic exchanges.

Reuters was unable to confirm the reports. China's central bank said it couldn't immediately comment.

Bitcoin was trading 2% down today at around $4,166 Monday afternoon, down 15% from its record high at the beginning of September.

Bitcoin, the world's biggest digital currency by market cap, briefly fell back below the $4,000-level on Sunday, extending weekend losses on reports saying that China was planning to shut down local cryptocurrency exchanges.

A source with knowledge of the policy confirmed to Reuters that China planned to ban exchanges that allowed virtual currency trading. Analysts and investors say one reason bitcoin prices rose past year was that Chinese people began using the asset as a way to bet that the value of the yuan would fall. On Sept 2, it hit a record high of almost $5,000.

The ban will only apply to trading of cryptocurrencies on exchanges, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information is private. On Monday, bitcoin was up by 6.5 percent at 25,253 yuan ($3,871.67) on the Huobi platform.

A spokeswoman for Beijing-based OK Coin said the platform has not received any notification from regulators.

A China-based cryptocurrency investor, however, said he was doubtful that Chinese authorities could completely suppress cryptocurrency trading.



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