China orders cryptocurrency exchanges to shut down

Written by: Michael Harris
October 11, 2019

China’s cryptocurrency exchanges have been instructed to halt their operations, multiple news outlets have reported.

According to a Reuters report, published today, Chinese authorities have ordered Beijing-based digital currency exchanges to cease trading and immediately notify users of their closure. These platforms were also instructed to stop allowing new user registrations as of today. Reuters attributed the information to a government notice signed by the Beijing city group in charge of overseeing internet finance risks, which had been verified by a government source.

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According to the report, these platforms have until September 20 to inform the government on how they will facilitate users’ withdrawals and handle funds to ensure that investors’ interests are protected.

“All trading exchanges must by midnight of Sept. 15 publish a notice to make clear when they will stop all cryptocurrency trading and announce a stop to new user registrations,” the notice said, as quoted by Reuters.

One of China’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, the Shanghai-based Bitcoin China, already announced yesterday that it would cease operations on September 30. Today, smaller local rivals ViaBTC, YoBTC and Yunbi announced similar closures.

Meanwhile, Beijing-based exchanges OkCoin and Huobi, which are BTCC’s largest competitors, reportedly met today with regulators, but so far they have not commented on the situation.

Interestingly, the cryptocurrency market has actually picked up following the news. Earlier today, the Bitcoin price (BTC/USD) for the first time in six weeks fell below $3,000, posting double-digit percentage gains over the past 24 hours. However, the original cryptocurrency has somewhat recovered since then and is currently trading at $3,441, down a mere 1.5% from the same time yesterday. Most major digital coins are following a similar pattern. As a result, the total value of al cryptocurrencies is already at $116.5 billion, after falling below $100 billion earlier today.

For further information on how to buy and trade Bitcoin, see our comprehensive Bitcoin guide.