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
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 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.