Two dominant virtual currency exchanges in China announced that their trading accounts at certain local banks would be terminated by the lenders next week, in the latest of obstacles for Bitcoin.
Unlike traditional currencies, Bitcoin is generated by computer algorithms and lacks the support of any central bank or government. No tangible assets are associated with Bitcoin.
As Reuters report, Huobi.com reported on its website that accounts it holds at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd would be closed by April 18. The Bitcoin exchange said that other accounts were not affected.
Competitor, BTC Trade announced via its website that the Agriculture Bank of China Ltd would terminate all Bitcoin exchange accounts at its Hangzhou branch by April 15.
The exchanges did not provide cause for closure of their accounts.
Also, nothing has been heard so far from officials at ICBC and Agbank.
According to Mail, the Chinese Bitcoin market accounts for the highest volume of global trade, and the currency plummeted 20% in a single after the account closure news. The virtual currency had been trading at $450 prior to the reports but shed $100 to hit $350 24 hours later.
The latest plunge in the Bitcoin price mirrors a decline witnessed when the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world, Mt. Gox crashed and stopped operations.
In December, the People’s bank of China issued prohibitions against Bitcoin trading for financial institutions, citing concerns that the digital currency would facilitate money laundering risks. However, no individuals have been banned by the central bank from taking part in Bitcoin trading.
Since the December ban, some media reports have indicated that PBOC had sent instructions to Chinese financial institutions to freeze all accounts operated by Bitcoin exchanges by April 15. However, the central bank has since denied ever instructing banks to close any Bitcoin exchange accounts. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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