Although many people thought banks weren’t allowed to work with Bitcoin exchanges as a result of the December 5th memo from the People’s Bank of China, it seems that the Bitcoin community may have overreacted to what the PBOC was trying to say. Some individuals have been wondering if Huobi, a Bitcoin exchange in China, has been operating illegally over the past few weeks because they were allowing customers to making deposits and withdrawals through the CEO’s personal bank account. Most people in the Chinese Bitcoin community viewed this as sketchy behavior, but it seems that BTC China is now ready to join them in accepting deposits through bank accounts once again.
A Bit of Clarity?
It seems that we may finally have a small bit of clarity when it comes to the state of Bitcoin regulations in China. As far as anyone knows, banks are allowed to process transfers for customers of Bitcoin exchanges, and this actually makes some sense out of the ban of third-party payment processors. The Government of China simply wanted to make sure that they could control any attempts to use Bitcoin for activities related to money laundering, which they can now handle more easily with the names attached to bank accounts of the customers at the exchanges. This current regulatory environment actually seems to be somewhat friendlier than what is going on in the United States right now. Having said that, changes can still be made in the future.
Changes Will Likely Take Place
While the regulations on Bitcoin exchanges in China are rather relaxed right now, this will likely change at some point in 2014. It’s not even clear if these exchanges are following KYC and AML guidelines, and it’s possible that the Chinese Government could be cooking up some special licenses and registration procedures for the exchanges in the country with the largest population in the world. It seems that Bitcoin exchanges in China are legitimate businesses for now, and Bobby Lee no longer needs to be overly worried about the future of BTC China.