2 of China’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges are shutting down trading — but bitcoin is soaring

2 of China's biggest cryptocurrency exchanges are shutting down trading — but bitcoin is soaring


Two of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in China

NEW YORK – Two of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in China, OKCoin and Huobi, have released statements saying they will shutdown all trading between bitcoin and yuan on their exchanges by October 31. They released seperate announcements on their websites Friday morning. Trading between digital coins will still be permitted for the time being, however. Bitcoin, which was reeling amid reports Thursday of a crackdown on Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges by regulators, is actually rallying now. The cryptocurrency was up 14.1% at $3,706 a coin at 10:59 a.m. ET Friday.

The price of bitcoin collapsed 16% against the dollar on Thursday and continued its slide until early Friday morning amid uncertainty about the future of the cryptocurrency and other digital coins in China, one of the biggest markets for cryptocurrencies. On Thursday,  BTCChina, the second largest Chinese exchange, said it would stop trading at the end of the month. Yunbi, another cryptocurrency exchange, also announced it would shut its trading operations on Friday, according to CoinDesk, the cryptocurrency news site.  

Thursday night, however, there were some signs that Chinese regulators could have a change of heart. Charlie Lee, the creator litecoin, one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, tweeted that OKCoin and Huobi, another leading cryptocurrency exchange, were set to meet with regulators on Friday. Many people in the cryptocurrency community viewed this as a possible turning point, hoping the exchanges would be able to convince regulators to "change their tune." Li Lihui, a senior official at the National Internet Finance Association of China and a former president of the Bank of China, said on Friday that regulators from different countries should collaborate on cryptocurrencies, according to reporting by Reuters. 

Chuck Reynolds

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