News has emerged that regulators in China have definitive plans to force closure of all its domestic Bitcoin exchanges.
According to the Wall Street Journal, anonymous sources have said that the decision has been made and it’s now only a question of when and not if, Chinese Bitcoin exchanges will be shut down. As news of the upcoming shutdowns spread , the price of Bitcoin dropped to a low of $4,108, before beginning to climb again. At the time of writing, it was trading at $4,342.18.
There has been no official announcement by China on the matter, however, and also no statement of fact as to whether only Bitcoin will be affected or whether alternative digital currencies such as Ethereum or LiteCoin will be forced out as well. Certainly, the move to shut down locally grown domestic exchanges would herald a new direction for the country in its efforts to regulate the market.
China is not alone in that regard however, and is just one of many countries intending to impose some sort of regulatory measure on the $150 billion cryptocurrency market.
What is clear though, is that the Chinese government doesn’t like cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin. They are anonymous and clandestine by nature, something that Beijing is not a big fan of. China also recently banned Initial Coin Offerings, the process whereby creators of new digital cryptocurrencies raise funds to develop and release them.
If China does shut down the exchanges, the debate is open as to how severe a hit Bitcoin as a whole would take.
As explained on Verge website, just three Chinese exchanges accounted for some 45% of Bitcoin’s total market share in the past month. However, despite the chaos a Chinese shutdown could cause, investors and speculators remain confident in the still infant cryptocurrency market.
Time will tell.
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