Bitcoin prices dropped on Thursday as Chinese banks began issuing notices to business that they were halting deposits, confirming recent reports of an impending onslaught. Bitcoin exchanges have up to the April 15 to stop all bank deposits.
While stakeholders have been anticipating the developments for more than week, Bitcoin prices plunged on today to under $403 from a peak of $450.74 on the CoinDesk price gauge after firms started making public announcements through their websites.
One of the first exchange to make a public announcement before midday in China is BTCTrade.com. BTC100.org and Huobi have also made announcements. It appears that Chinese banks initially sent notices to smaller traders before targeting larger exchanges.
Banks have themselves made the announcements of an impending crackdown, as the People’s Bank of China has not directly made its intentions formally known to the exchanges.
“With a heavy heart we make this announcement, that BTCTrade just received a telephone call from our bank the Kejicheng (Tech City) branch of China Agricultural Bank Hangzhou, that if we do not stop using our bank account to conduct bitcoin related businesses by 4/15 our account will be frozen,” BTCTrade said in a statement.
The exchange said it was going to halt all RBM deposits by the 15th of April at midnight, although withdrawals remained unaffected in the meantime.
But BTC China said it wasn’t altering its banking arrangements until it’s notified officially. The exchange said that it had not received any notice from banks or the country’s central bank.
OKCoin and FXBTC also halted some forms of account recharging options after the two received notices from financial institutions and third party payment providers.
In the meantime, prices of other virtual currencies plunged 20% or more. Megacoin and TAGcoin were hardest hit, losing more than 50%.
According to International Business Times, the restrictions Chinese authorities are imposing on Bitcoin are unlikely to have a positive impact on its price.
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