Platform complying with govt calls to curb risks
Bitcoin China announced on Thursday that it had stopped accepting new registrations and that it will shut down all trading activities on its platform by September 30.
The move came after earlier reports that said Chinese officials were mulling a closure of domestic exchanges for virtual currency trading, which sent the price of Bitcoin into a nosedive.
Following the Bitcoin China announcement, the price of Bitcoin plunged 6.09 percent to ,630 at around 7:45 pm on Thursday, the lowest level since August 12, according to financial data provider tradingview.com.
The price of Bitcoin has been on a steep downward curve since Tuesday, when several media outlets carried reports of Chinese officials planning to ban commercial trading of virtual currencies. The price fell from a high of about ,360 to below the ,000 mark on Wednesday.
In a statement, Bitcoin China said it had made the decision based on a government document released on September 4.
"Adhering to the principle of preventing investment risks and maximizing the interests of users, the Bitcoin China team has carefully discussed and made these decisions," the statement said. Bitcoin China is one of the largest platforms for virtual currency trading.
The People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, and several other agencies released a document on September 4, in which they voiced their concerns over risks in virtual currency trading and suggested measures to curb such risks, including barring new issuance of initial coin offerings.
Another main Bitcoin trading platform, btctrade.com, also said in a banner on the website that the platform "will respond positively to national policy," without providing further details.
In an earlier statement released on Saturday, the platform said it had not received any instruction from the authorities but that it would comply with regulations and policies.
Huobi.com, another popular trading platform, appears to be active in terms of registering new accounts as of press time on Thursday.
Following the closure of Bitcoin China, some traders in China have turned bearish about the outlook for the virtual currency.
"Within two months, Bitcoin will be back to its original 'price' and will never be able to bounce back," one user commented in a post on baidu on Thursday. But some are still optimistic. One netizen commented on the same post on baidu.com that Bitcoin prices could bounce back after bottoming out.