Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges OKCoin and FXBTC Report New Deposit Freezes

Chinese exchanges were notified that their certain accounts will be terminated.

Responding to a PBOC order, leading Chinese Bitcoin exchanges - OKCoin, FXBTC and BTC38 - announced today to suspend Chinese Yuan deposits, which will be effective from April 3rd, 2014. Photo: Siarhei Karotki/Coinspeaker

Responding to a PBOC order, leading Chinese Bitcoin exchanges - OKCoin, FXBTC and BTC38 - announced today to suspend Chinese Yuan deposits, which will be effective from April 3rd, 2014. Photo: Siarhei Karotki/Coinspeaker

Soon after reports emerged claiming that Chinese bitcoin exchange BTC38 was going to suspend fiat-to-digital currency trading, its rivals in China, OKCoin and FXBTC, were notified by their financial partners that a certain amount of accounts will be freezed.

The latest announcements are the latest sign that China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), reportedly intends to enforce prior rulings related to how domestic financial service providers can interact with the bitcoin exchanges.

For example, while OKCoin was contacted by its third-party processor, FXBTC led talks with commercial banking providers.

China has previously banned third-party payment services from dealing with bitcoin exchanges. But still, its domestic bitcoin exchanges had found a workaround for this issue by accepting payment into corporate accounts, writes Coindesk.

A new report from suggests that the PBOC is now looking to close this loophole.

OKCoin owners took to the exchange’s official website to announce that they were notified by one of its third-party payment processors, and that as a result, the Cinese company inteds to stop servicing deposits via prepaid card. Debit cards and yuan withdrawals, however, will not be affected in any way.

FXBTC’s situation appears to be even more dire. The exchange posted an emergency notification on its website claiming that it has received word from commercial banking partners who are looking to terminate certain accounts.

The exchange mentioned that it plans to suspend debit-card deposits starting from April, 3, and temporarily halt withdrawals after Sunday, 6th April. As of press time, however, as the Chinese echanger revealed, its third-party processing channel – operated by Tencent’s TenPay – was still active.

However, OKCoin and FXBTC’s one more rival, based in China as well, Huobi, reported that it has not received official notification that any of its accounts were affected.

“Together with the day’s earlier announcement from BTC38, the reports suggest that the PBOC may be pressuring the country’s commercial banks and payment companies to close bitcoin trading accounts,” Coindesk claims.

Earlier reports had claimed that all the registered accounts would be shut down completely by 15th April. However, the PBOC has yet expected to announce what are further changes in policy.

This official notice may be unlikely, however, as BTC China CEO Bobby Lee has indicated that the PBOC is simply following a “stricter interpretation of the written rules” regarding bitcoin and digital currencies.

Meanwhile, the reaction to the latest news, appeared ot be quite sceptical, as many were indicating that the announcements don’t actually confirm that the PBOC will be looking to enforce the broad crackdown that has been suggested.

As of press time, the price of bitcoin on the CoinDesk USD Bitcoin Price Index(BPI) was down 8.41% on the news, having fallen $40 from the day’s opening total of $478.

Prices in China were affected similarly, according to the CoinDesk CNY BPI, which at press time was down 7.25% from the day’s open of ¥2,861 at ¥2,653.74.

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