Local Chinese publications reported last month that the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) will issue regulatory guidelines for Chinese bitcoin exchanges in June. However, last week, the bank reportedly dispelled the rumor and confirmed that no bitcoin regulations will be released this month.
No PBOC Bitcoin Regulations in June
In May, Caixin reported that the PBOC was expected to issue new regulatory guidelines for Chinese bitcoin exchanges in June. This would cover a list of requirements including anti-money laundering (AML) as well as how funds are managed.
However, 8btc reported this week that Sun Hui, vice president of the PBOC Shanghai Head Office, revealed at the news conference held by the Information Office of Shanghai Municipal Government that:
No bitcoin trading regulations will be released in June.
In addition, insiders at Huobi, Btcc, and Okcoin told the publication that they have not received any new regulatory documents.
When to Expect the PBOC’s Regulatory Guidelines
Following the PBOC’s inspection in January, the big three Chinese bitcoin exchanges halted coin withdrawals. Btcc, Huobi and Okcoin separately said at the time withdrawals would only resume after the regulators had approved their internal compliance upgrades.
Several bitcoin exchanges in Beijing met with the PBOC on March 7 to discuss the details of the draft regulations for bitcoin exchanges, according to 8btc. The draft outlines requirements imposed on bitcoin exchanges such as to overhaul their know-your-customer (KYC) systems and to comply with AML and anti-terrorist financing policies. However, there has been no indication of when the PBOC’s regulatory guidelines will be released.
Near the end of March, Bitcoin.com reported that the exchanges would not resume withdrawals until the PBOC’s AML rules had been clarified. However, at the end of May, the exchanges surprised the Bitcoin community by resuming withdrawals, with some restrictions.
Nonetheless, Sun did not have a specific date for the release of the regulations to share at the press conference last week. Citing differences in bitcoin treatment in each country, he said:
The PBOC has had its eye on bitcoin and investigated possible market manipulation, money laundering, and unauthorized financing activities. We will keep doing what we should do as a financial watchdog.
The PBOC defines bitcoin as a “virtual commodity” and not a “financial product”, Sun noted, adding that “the principle is that we will adopt applicable and appropriate regulations on bitcoin.”
When do you think the PBOC will issue regulations for Chinese bitcoin exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the PBOC
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