The last few weeks of March were rife with misinformation out of China regarding a mysterious notice from the PBOC supposedly sent to regional banks and 3rd party payment processors. Original news of the notice was misinterpreted and leaked on 3/21/14 leading many to dismiss all news out of China in subsequent days. On 3/27/14, Chinese reporters from Caixin claimed to have seen the PBOC document and published a synopsis of its contents. The title of the supposed notice is this: 关于进一步加强比特币风险防范工作的通知, or the Notice on Further Strengthening Bitcoin Risk Prevention Measures. In the notice, the PBOC called for strict adherence to its 12/05/13 statement, informing these entities that they needed to halt all business with Bitcoin related companies and sites by 4/15/14.
A few days ago, Chinese Bitcoin and altcoin exchange Bter was the first to announce the suspension of deposits. OKCoin, FXBTC, and BTC38 today join the ranks of Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges that have received notice of the PBOC’s notice from their banks or 3rd party payment processors. Notably, only FXBTC has received notice from its commercial bank, and in contrast has not received any notice from its 3rd party payment processor. In contrast, BTC38 has temporarily halted all trading in response. Obviously, Chinese Bitcoin exchanges are still in the process of receiving this news. Most of these notices were put up by the Chinese Bitcoin exchanges in the evening of 4/2/14 in China, it is entirely possible that the other 11 exchanges on the list have not yet informed their users of the changes to Chinese Yuan deposits. If the Chinese people have trouble getting Bitcoin into Chinese exchanges, they may end up trading at offshore exchanges like BTC-e, which recently launched offshore Chinese Yuan deposits. However, Chinese Yuan deposits would be limited to $50,000 USD per person per year due to strict Chinese laws.
I have provided human translations of the three new Chinese Bitcoin Exchange announcements. A translation of Bter’s announcement can be found here.
Dear users of OKCoin:
Because our 3rd party payment card dealer (payment processor) just received notification to suspend our payment channel, Starting at 0:00 on April 3rd we will stop prepaid card recharges. Bank transfer recharge cards for yuan withdrawals are not effected. We apologize for any inconvenience.
OKCoin Bitcoin Trading Platform
To our valued customers:
Hello, it is with deep regret that we must inform you, because of the Central Bank’s policy implementation, the 3rd party payment processor long used by BTC38 will tonight cease their usefulness, at the 24th hour they will stop working with us. As a result of additional requests, we will also simultaneously end the use of bank transfer cards as a recharge method.
In the recent past, the Internet circulated a statement calling for the ban of Bitcoin trading platforms by 4/15, the Central Bank has since denied those rumours. However, that the Central Bank has, in accordance with their December 5th notice, taken further marshaling steps seems to be true based on the extant facts and that we have today received this news from our bank and our 3rd party payment processor.
We plan to strictly comply with the Central Bank’s notice and rules by suspending RMB recharges and RMB withdrawals. Virtual Currency liquidity though, is still completely normal. BTC38 in total has over 100% of user’s reserves on hand, users do not need to raise questions about financial security.
To address this problem, we already have some operation optimizing developments planned, BTC38 will try to resume normal services. However, in this sensitive moment, we are unable to reveal more information at this time.
Meanwhile, we hope that everyone can learn something from times like these, today’s chaos has already been too much. Too much greed in this industry ultimately causes the most hurt on the industry itself. We encourage everyone to consider the health of the industry and to consciously resist the “chaos Elephant.”
Regardless where the future road takes us, we hope that everyone gives this industry a healthy atmosphere, to encourage the competitiveness of emerging platforms. BTC38’s service will always make you comfortable and BTC38 will continue to focus on healthy development in the virtual currency industry.
Today, FXBTC management along with some industry peers, received phone calls from commercial banks urging them to go to their bank to cancel their account as soon as possible. This is in order to strengthen the implementation of the Notice on Bitcoin risk prevention measures. Some banks requested that the accounts be closed as early as tomorrow. FXBTC would like to clarify that this incident is no longer a rumor. The Central Bank really did issue a notice forcing commercial banks and 3rd party payment processors to stop providing clearing services for Bitcoin businesses, as well as demanding the closure of accounts belonging to Bitcoin related sites. Even though FXBTC has been working hard on the behalf of its users by offering various prepaid withdrawal channels, the bank requires us to immediately cancel the account, or risk having the account frozen. The company has discussed and decided that starting 4/3/14 at 0:00 hour, we will no longer be accepting recharges via bank. After Sunday, we will also suspend bank card withdrawals. As of now, we have not received any notice from TenPay about withdrawals or deposits. We apologize for any inconvenience that we have caused you.
FXBTC News Department