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China ICO Ban: World’s Oldest Bitcoin Exchange Shuts Its Doors

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:00 PM
Josiah Wilmoth
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:00 PM

Bitcoin exchange BTCC has closed its CNY trading platform in compliance with the China ICO ban, marking the end of an era for the bitcoin community both inside and outside of China. 

BTCC made the announcement on Twitter, noting that it had operated for a “world record of 2,305 days.” Indeed, the vast majority of bitcoin users likely cannot remember a time before BTCC. Throughout the world, exchanges rose, fell, and occasionally scammed their customers, but BTCC remained.

The closure did not come as a surprise. Following the China ICO ban, regulators reportedly instructed domestic bitcoin exchanges they must voluntarily shut down their trading platforms. The Shanghai-based BTCC announced on September 14 that it would close trading on September 30, making it the first exchange to do so. On September 27, BTCC stopped accepting deposits, and Saturday it officially flipped the switch on its order-book exchange.

Although BTCC’s operations in mainland China are winding down, the company will continue to operate elsewhere. BTCC’s USD and DAX exchanges, as well as its mining pool and other company operations, will function as normal.

Despite BTCC’s historic status, not everyone was sorry to see the exchange go. As a New York Agreement (NYA) signatory, the company had incurred the ire of a significant segment of the bitcoin community, and tensions have increased as the proposed November date for the controversial SegWit2x hard fork approaches. Consequently, some social media users gloated at the exchange’s demise. Others expressed incredulity, believing thus-far unsubstantiated rumors that regulators will eventually license domestic bitcoin exchanges and allow them to resume trading.

Nevertheless, BTCC CEO Bobby Lee took to Twitter to commemorate the end of BTCC’s record-setting run:

“We started as China’s 1st bitcoin exchange. Back then, BTC price was just CNY ¥150,” he wrote. At present exchange rates, that is just $22.60, meaning that bitcoin has appreciated by more than 19,000% in the intervening years.

“Wish we could have bought some more,” Lee added.

Featured image from Shutterstock.