China Bitcoin Exchanges Halt, Delay Withdrawals After PBOC Talks
China's three biggest bitcoin exchanges took steps to prevent withdrawals of the cryptocurrency amid pressure from the nation's central bank to clamp down on capital outflows.
BTC China subjected all bitcoin withdrawals to a 72-hour review, while Huobi and OKCoin suspended them completely, the three venues said in separate statements on Thursday. They all said the measures were in response to central bank requirements. Conversion to and from the yuan is not affected and the curbs will be dropped after updates to compliance systems, the exchanges said.
The People's Bank of China told nine bitcoin venues at a meeting in Beijing on Wednesday that it will close exchanges that violate rules on foreign exchange management, money laundering, and payment and settlement. Chinese authorities are scrutinizing the cryptocurrency amid concerns it's being used to spirit money out of the country, undermining official efforts to clamp down on capital outflows and prop up the yuan. Demand from investors in Asia's largest economy, home to most of the world's bitcoin trades, has fueled a 160 percent rally versus the dollar over the past year.