Bitcoin trading in renminbi (RMB) has dropped to less than 1 percent of the global total, the central bank of China announced. The People’s Republic banned yuan-crypto trade last year, prompting the exodus of hundreds of Chinese crypto businesses, including some of the world’s leading trading platforms.
‘Zero-Risk’ Exit for 88 Exchanges, the People’s Bank Says
The trading of Bitcoin with the Chinese national currency, the renminbi (RMB), has fallen to less than 1 percent of the world’s total, the People’s Bank of China (PBC) announced this Friday, quoted by Xinhua. At its peak, the RMB/BTC trade reached more than 90 percent of the volume, the state-controlled news agency noted in its report without detailing the data.
In September, 2017, Beijing authorities imposed a ban on the trading of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin with the Chinese yuan, referring to the presumed financial risk associated with the rapidly expanding crypto market. The measure also prohibited Chinese businesses from conducting crowdfunding campaigns through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
In its announcement, The People’s Bank of China said the country had ensured a “zero-risk exit for 88 virtual currency exchanges and 85 ICO trading platforms,” since last year. Xinhua also quoted a “blockchain analyst” saying that “The timely moves by regulators effectively fended off the impact of sharp ups and downs in virtual currency prices and led the global regulatory trend.” The opinion belongs to Zhang Yifeng from the Zhongchao Credit Card Industry Development Company.
In February this year, reports came out in Hong Kong that advertisements of products and services offered by companies from the crypto industry no longer appear in China’s major search engines and social networks. The absence of sponsored crypto content prompted local media to allege that the ban also censors all crypto-related ads.
Chinese Platforms Expanding Across the Globe
PRC regulators imposed a comprehensive ban on bitcoin trading in September, 2017, when they ordered local exchanges to suspend their operations. The authorities in the People’s Republic also tried to block access to foreign cryptocurrency trading platforms offering services to Chinese residents. The restrictions encompassed the crypto-yuan trade hitting some of the world’s largest trading platforms.
The ban forced exchanges with Chinese roots, like Huobi, OK Coin, and Binance, to halt all trading in the country and seek to relocate to more favorable jurisdictions. The trading platforms founded new entities and opened offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and the United States, which allowed them to continue their activities and even grow significantly.
Huobi, once one of the largest Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges, is now headquartered in Singapore and maintains presence in Hong Kong, the US and Japan, although it recently decided to close the accounts of Japanese residents as a result of compliance issues. The exchange also announced the launch of a trading platform in Australia supporting 10 pairs against the AUD, including bitcoin cash (BCH), with plans to add new cryptos in the future. Huobi confirmed it will open an office in London, too.
In April, the Hong Kong based Okex, the digital asset exchange founded by OK Coin CEO Star Xu, revealed plans to expand its operations to Malta. Its announcement came after in March, Binance, currently the largest crypto exchange by trade volume, shared its intention to move to the island nation. Binance wants to offer EUR and GBP pairs from Malta, which is a member of the European Union. The company is also launching a fiat-crypto trading platform in Uganda.
Do you think Chinese regulators will eventually reverse the ban on crypto trading? Share your expectations in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Changpeng Zhao (Twitter).
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