China’s Bitcoin Firms Plot to Shift Operations Offshore as Crackdown Intensifies

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China’s Bitcoin Firms Plot to Shift Operations Offshore as Crackdown IntensifiesAs China’s crackdown on bitcoin intensifies, major bitcoin ventures in the mainland are plotting to leave the mainland, reported South China Morning Post.

Beijing-based Huobi, considered as China’s largest bitcoin exchange, is mulling plans to move its operations offshore in order to ensure protection of its clients.

“We are trying to create an offshore account and to go international,” said Leon Li, founder and CEO of Huobi. “We don’t want to touch the customers’ money in China, because maybe [regulation] is going to get worse.”

Before People’s Bank of China began disrupting the digital currency, clients could freely use Huobi’s bank account in the mainland to deposit or transfer funds. However, there is an increasing likelihood that they will be forced to rely on offshore bank accounts to skirt the hawk-eyed PBOC’s regulators.

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Li’s sentiments comes just after he, along with the chiefs of BTC China, CHBTC, BTC Trade and OKCoin-China’s other biggest ventures- skipped the Global Bitcoin Summit that was held in the past two days in order to avoid raising the profile of the gathering.’

Several crackdowns mounted against bitcoin have seen its prices plunge from over US$1000 to the current levels of under $500. On March 27, bitcoin’s value plummeted nearly 10 percent after the Caixin website reported that PBOC had instructed payment companies and banks to shut down bitcoin-related accounts.

PBOC’s directive has seen major banks, including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, cut off ties with the virtual currency.

“You can see pressure being applied from different angles,” said BTC China’s CEO Bobby Lee. Lee revealed that his exchange was bypassing PBOC’s regulations by relying on paper vouchers. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Deepak Tiwari at deepak@forexminute.com