At 12:06 local time, Bter, one of China’s larger Bitcoin exchanges, posted an announcement to its website announcing a temporary suspension of deposits. What’s more is Bter cites official regulation that they were just informed of, as the ultimate reason for this incredible convenience to its users. Bter not only offered RMB to BTC markets but also RMB to LTC, Dogecoin, Auroracoin, and even Counterparty (XCP). Many Bitcoiners on both sides of the Pacific are wondering if other Chinese Bitcoin exchanges will soon follow suit and suspend CNY deposits. In the meantime, CNY withdrawals, as well as all digital currency withdrawals, are still active.
Bter has clarified that the notice came from their 3rd party payment processor, and that they never used a bank to begin with, so they aren’t sure how Chinese exchanges with banks will be effected.
On 3/27/14 I wrote, based on evidence viewed by Caixin reporters, that the PBOC had ordered all Chinese banks and third party payment processors to close Chinese Bitcoin exchanges’ accounts by 4/15/14. Though initially discounted as FUD, the news has been carried by mainstream media in both the Western and Eastern worlds, and the recent actions of Chinese exchanges seem to point to the supposed notice’s authenticity. Bter did not specifically mention the PBOC’s notice, or even their own bank, by name in their announcement. However, it is safe to assume that the notification of new official regulation came from Bter’s domestic Chinese bank, which fits the tale of a PBOC notice handed down to regional banks on 3/18/14 requiring action by 4/15/14. The pieces are starting to reveal themselves.
Here is the notice from Bter:
Dear valued user:
Hello. We’re sorry to announce that, regarding deposits, Bter just received notice that due to official regulations we will be unable to avoid a temporary suspension of deposits. But, CNY Withdrawals are unaffected. As before, it will arrive within two hours. Everyone can still perform normal withdrawal operations at his or her leisure.
Bter upholds its promises and commitment to maintaining 100% deposit liquidity and guarantee that customer withdrawals will not be affected. Bter provides over 40 digital currency exchange pairs and is the largest Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading platform in China. It is also the world’s largest dogecoin, futurecoin, and Counterparty (XCP) platform, and is listed in Alexa’s top 1000 Chinese website ranking.
In Contrast: BTC-e Opens CNY Deposits Today
On the other side of the globe, or closer (who really knows), Btc-e has also made headlines today by announcing the formation of 3 Chinese Yuan markets. Users from around the world, and particularly from within China, will be able to buy Bitcoin and Litecoin with RMB on BTC-e, as of earlier today. Btc-e uses an Australian bank to receive RMB wire transfers and as such, Chinese traders looking to deposit into BTC-e will find themselves at the mercy of China’s annual $50,000 outflow limit.
Where will the Chinese traders end up? Some might wonder if the Chinese might abandon Bitcoin altogether; personally, I find that highly unlikely. For a few months, tech savvy Chinese had a useful method for getting value out of their country and the exchange rate prospered as a result. Even if more Chinese Bitcoin exchanges close up CNY deposits later this week, the digital currency infrastructure has been laid.
Last modified (UTC): April 20, 2014 18:34