Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges Halt Some Payment Services

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Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges Halt Some Payment Services

Two of the largest Chinese Bitcoin exchanges have temporarily stopped some money transfer services in the wake of reports that the People’s Bank of China intends to implement more stringent controls on Bitcoin.

BTC China said on its microblog yesterday that it suspended dealings with Yijingdong for concerns related to the payment provider. OKCoin said that third party payment providers had halted services to its clients.

The prices of Bitcoin sank almost 10% on March 27 after a financial magazine Caixin reported that the central bank of China ordered financial institutions and payment providers to terminate accounts of more than 10 Bitcoin exchanges.

The Caixin report said the financial companies had been given up to April 15 to comply with the central bank’s directive.

“We have prepared an emergency plan ahead of the April 15 deadline and will launch an overseas version soon. Please don’t doubt us,” OKCoin is quoted by Bloomberg as saying.

Bitcoin is a digital currency that exists as software and lacks control or oversight by a central authority such as a central bank or country. The currency’s price stood at $407 or 2,525 yuan on BTC China at 5:28 pm, having declined from a 24-hour peak of 2,710 yuan.

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Two other Bitcoin exchanges in China, BTC38 and FXBTC announced they were halting yuan customer deposits, indicating that they were responding to the latest central bank directives on Bitcoin transactions.

According to Wall Street Journal, Shenzhen-based BTC38 said it was suspending bank transfers after it learned of intentions of the Chinese monetary regulator from financial institutions.

FXBTC said it was stopping Bitcoin deposits as from Thursday and temporarily halting bank card withdrawals effective this Sunday. The exchange said it had been urged by several banks through phone calls to expedite closure of accounts.

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