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.
One important indicator of the Chinese bitcoin market's recovery which investors must acknowledge is the rapidly growing trading volume of the Chinese exchange and over-the-counter markets.
Still, the ban is not exactly a ban on trading Bitcoin entirely.
Chinese authorities are ordering domestic bitcoin exchanges to shut down, delivering a heavy blow to once-thriving trading hubs that helped popularize the virtual currency pushing it to recent record highs.
Notably, the ban has yet to be officially announced in China, according to the Wall Street Journal. Many analysts expected the release of WSJ's report to slow down the momentum of bitcoin even further.
LocalBitcoins.com is a peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange, a site where you can list your own bitcoins for sale or buy bitcoins directly from other users. 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. The three companies reassured their clients that they have not received any directives from PBoC and that they are willing to comply with any requests from the Chinese government and its financial regulators.
More to that, the Chinese bitcoin industry and market have regained trust over bitcoin and its legal status in China. This is the second major Bitcoin price fall this past two weeks. China's largest bitcoin exchanges, OKCoin, BTCChina and Huobi, told Bloomberg on Monday that they still have yet to be contacted regarding any trading ban.
Bitcoin slumped on Friday after Caixin magazine reported China's plans, capping the virtual currency's biggest weekly retreat in almost two months. However, the Chinese market has shown that it does not necessarily perceive the suspension as a threat.
When China banned ICOs, Bitcoin price took its first dive in many months, from almost $4,900 - $5,000 to $4,500.
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