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November 1, 2017

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Bitcoin platforms halt all services

CHINESE Bitcoin trading platforms have stopped topping up and cashing services yesterday, following the government’s suspension of Bitcoin trading in September as it clamped down on crypto-currencies.

Although the platforms will stop all Bitcoin-related services in the domestic market, they will continue to run overseas platforms and operate blockchain, a key Bitcoin technology that is also used in various industries.

Beijing-based Huobi, which used to be one of the top three Bitcoin trading platforms, has stopped all Bitcoin trading and topping up business from yesterday. Instead, they will continue operate the business in Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea.

Shanghai-based BTCC, China’s former No. 2 Bitcoin platform, has stopped most Bitcoin-related services. It will charge users a service fee for withdrawal of existing assets from Friday as it embarks to close the trading platform quickly.

Digital coins, including Bitcoin, are often described as finance innovation tools but they operate in a generally unregulated environment.

The price of Bitcoin rose to US$6,300 yesterday, according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index, which offers an average of the various global platforms.

In September, China announced a ban on individuals and organizations raising money through ICOs — a form of fundraising in which technology startups issue their own digital coins, or “tokens,” to investors to access funds.

The government has called ICOs “an unauthorized and illegal public fundraising.”



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