Rumors that China will ban bitcoin trading continue to swirl, and Chinese bitcoin exchanges are taking diverging paths in their wake.
On Tuesday, regional cryptocurrency news service cnLedger reported that BitKan–one of China’s most popular over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency trading services–will suspend its OTC trading platform on September 14 in response to last week’s initial coin offering (ICO) ban.
This reasoning is curious, as most of the recent focus has been on unconfirmed reports that the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is preparing to shutter bitcoin exchanges. It would seem that exchanges could comply with the ICO ruling by simply delisting crowdsale-derived tokens, as several exchanges have begun to do. Moreover, the reports suggested that regulators would not attempt to prohibit OTC trading.
The suspension will impact both mobile and Web-based users of BitKan’s OTC exchange, which the company website boasts is most popular in the country. Users will still be able to access the app’s wallet function, and the company did not specify if or when it would re-enable cryptocurrency trading.
Meanwhile, some conventional Chinese bitcoin exchanges are continuing to expand their operations. This morning, ViaBTC announced that it was adding seven cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency trading pairs priced with bitcoin and bitcoin cash.
This is significant because last week ViaBTC CEO Haipo Yang tweeted that China would shut down all exchanges. When another Twitter user brought that up, Yang clarified that ViaBTC “won’t…shut down.” If the PBoC does make a move against Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges, he says ViaBTC will stop accepting fiat deposits and cancel CNY trading pairs.
In light of that statement, the addition of BTC/BCC-based trading pairs could be ViaBTC’s way of hedging against a potential Chinese bitcoin exchange ban. Alternatively, it could be a sign that–despite Yang’s tweet last week–the exchange is unfazed by the rumors.
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