Bitcoin crashed today as OKCoin made a surprise announcement stating they are to pause BTC and LTC withdrawals for a time estimate of one month to comply with “relevant national anti-money laundering, payment and settlement of foreign exchange management and other financial laws and regulations.” Huobi made a similar announcement.
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The exchanges state that in order to strictly comply with relevant laws and regulations, in a joint effort with industry counterparts, a comprehensive upgrade of the platform to effectively prevent and combat the use of Bitcoin for money laundering, foreign exchange, pyramid schemes and other illegal activities will be undertaken. In order to avoid possible illegal transactions that may continue before the system upgrade is complete, the exchanges decided:
1) Immediately from this moment, to suspend bitcoin and litecoin withdrawals;
2) RMB cash withdrawal and other operations are not affected;
3) The implementation of the system… is estimated to take 1 month, but may also be substantially ahead of that time estimate.
We have reached out to a number of exchanges, but have not yet received any response. According to unconfirmed reports, BTCC is allowing bitcoin withdrawals. They have not issued an announcement and it is currently unclear if they are taking the same measures.
There were previous reports today by western based bitcoiners that they could not withdraw from OKCoin, but those reports are not fully confirmed.
The measures follow a meeting with PBOC by nine smaller Chinese bitcoin exchanges – CHBTC, BtcTrade, HaoBTC, Yunbi, Yuanbao, BTC100, Jubi, BitBays and Dahonghuo – where they were warned to comply with laws related to money laundering, foreign currency payment and management, taxation and advertisement. In its strongest language yet, if there is a violation, PBOC may make a recommendation to the relevant authorities for the exchange to be shut down, the statement said yesterday.
The wording of PBOC is somewhat ambiguous as it is not clear whether they are warning exchanges to strictly comply from now on and if not they may even be shut down or whether it includes past violations.
Price sharply fell as of writing. Readers are however warned this story is developing. Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the above content, inadvertent mistakes may be made, thus caution is urged until further details emerge.
CCN is following this developing story.
Featured image from Shutterstock.