China’s Latest Crackdown Forces Five Crypto Exchanges to Close

Latest wave of shutdowns represents the biggest clean-up of the sector since an initial clampdown in September 2017.

Chinese authorities have ordered at least five cryptocurrency exchanges to cease trading and immediately notify domestic users of their closure, signaling the biggest crackdown by authorities since 2017.

Chinese exchange operators Bitsoda and Akdex were among notable players that halted its operations, while Btuex and Idax said they are “carefully considering” the directive from regulators. More specifically, these exchanges would terminate domestic activities and focus on overseas users instead, citing tightening regulation.

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Binance and Tron were also among the biggest victims of the crackdown after China’s largest microblogging service Weibo suspended the accounts of the two crypto giants last week.

The increased scrutiny has caused the value of bitcoin to crash in November, which is poised to be its worst month in more than a year. However, the No.1 cryptocurrency yesterday eked out the biggest single-day gain in four weeks, up 6 percent on Wednesday.

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The biggest crackdown since 2017

Earlier this month, China’s authorities have resumed their all-out war against cryptocurrencies with a new campaign aimed at shutting down all remaining crypto-related activities.

There have also been reports that China is preparing a wider crackdown on the crypto industry, effectively aiming to kill related activities in a country that once dominated the market.

The latest wave of shutdowns and restrictions represents the biggest clean-up of the sector since an initial clampdown in September 2017. It also comes nearly one year after China blocked access to over 120 offshore cryptocurrency exchanges that provide trading services to citizens on the mainland.

Also, last week, the People’s Bank of China’s (PBoC) Shanghai headquarter revealed its intentions to crack down on crypto trading. On Friday, it urged all banks to abide by Chinese laws and not deal in cryptocurrencies. It said authorities would also continue to monitor and shut down domestic websites related to cryptocurrency trades and ICOs, and ban payment services from accepting cryptocurrencies.

The government ‏plans to close the few remaining loopholes in order to entirely restrict its citizens from transacting ‎cryptocurrencies or participating in ICOs held abroad.‎

The latest assault on cryptocurrencies by the Chinese authorities however coincided with positive remarks from president Xi Jinping, who said last month the country needs to “seize the opportunity” afforded by the technology that verifies bitcoin transactions.

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