Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal are reporting that China will move to shut down bitcoin exchanges, citing unnamed “informed sources.”
According to the reports, the ban will be limited to exchange-based trading and will not affect over-the-counter transactions. 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.
Notably, Bobby Lee, CEO of China’s oldest bitcoin exchange, BTCC, posted a poll on Twitter suggesting that he is not entirely convinced by the news.
The Wall Street Journal reported that they had contacted the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) – the country’s central bank – for comment, but it had yet to respond.
The reports notably follow a recent ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) in China, as well as an increase in attention on anti-money laundering policies domestically. For example, the PBoC today put out a notice emphasizing its continued interest in stemming financial crimes and capital flight, two issues long alleged to be connected to its monitoring of cryptocurrency.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in BTCC.
Shenzen finance district image via Shutterstock