The months-long bitcoin withdrawal freeze in China is coming to an end, as major exchange BTCC resumes bitcoin withdrawals.
The new month brings with it reports of another prominent exchange lifting its withdrawal freeze. BTCChina has stated that it has begun “testing” bitcoins this week. In joining OKCoin, that’s two of the ‘big three’ Chinese exchanges resuming withdrawals following regulatory scrutiny by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).
China’s central bank began investigating trading and business practices of regional exchanges that drove what was then the world’s largest bitcoin trading market. It was nearly six months ago on January 6 when PBoC officials met with BTCC and followed it up with “on-site checks” of China’s biggest exchanges.
For its part, BTCC claimed it “regularly meets with the PBOC” to work in accordance of laws and regulations while adhering to “strict AML/KYC policies”. It wasn’t long before the financial regulator’s tightening squeeze was felt in the Chinese bitcoin ecosystem. Exchanges stopped margin trading completely and enforced trading fees in January alone.
Come February, OKCoin and Huobi paused bitcoin withdrawals, a temporary measure that was expected to last a month at the time. BTCC followed suit and halted withdrawals a week later. The freeze continued through March, with BTCC stating that withdrawals would only resume after regulatory approval.
In mid-May, CCN reported that the months-long PBOC’s inspection of exchanges was coming to an end. Withdrawals were to be expected in June, with rumors of ‘punitive’ penalties to be imposed on bitcoin exchanges. Details of the punishments, if any, are currently unknown.
Prominent Chinese cryptocurrency news source cnLedger confirmed BTCC resuming withdrawals.
BTCChina allowing withdraws confirmed by their customer service pic.twitter.com/OJciKUwj0A
— cnLedger (@cnLedger) June 1, 2017
The impact on Chinese markets has been telling. Having accounted for 10% of the world’s bitcoin trading early on Wednesday, news of OKCoin allowing withdrawals spurred investor activity to nearly 20% of the world’s trading volumes on the day.
On Thursday, following BTCC’s announcement, trading in Chinese markets is now at nearly 25% of the global market over a 24-hour period.
OKCoin, traditionally one of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges by trading volume is now making a comeback, as is BTCC.
It’s likely to be only a matter of time before Huobi, the other ‘big three’ Chinese exchange, follows suit.
Featured image from Shutterstock.