Chinese exchanges pull out of Bitcoin summit

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The Global Bitcoin Summit, which will be held May 10th to 11th at the China National Convention Center, has lost five important attendees – all of whom are CEOs of Chinese crypto exchanges. The Chinese entrepreneurs pulled out of the conference after they were made to close their accounts by various Chinese banks.

Two Chinese banks, Ping An Bank and China Everbright Bank, both released statements on their respective websites that they would be suspending the accounts that were associated with trades in Bitcoin or Litecoin.

Ping An Bank (translated):

“In accordance with the PBOC’s notice on the prevention of Bitcoin risk (No. 289), and for the protection of the public’s interests, and to safeguard the legal status of the Yuan currency as well as to prevent money laundering risks… From this day forward, any organization or individual that participates in Bitcoin or Litecoin trading withdrawals or deposits, purchase or sale of recharge codes, or other related transactions are not allowed to use their bank account to transfer funds for that purpose.  If found, the bank is entitled to suspend such transactions and cancel such accounts. If the public finds out about such acts, they can be reported to the bank online. This announcement is hereby certified.”

A strikingly similar statement came from China Everbright Bank:

“In order to protect the public’s interest, maintain the exclusive legal tender status of RMB [i.e. CNY] and to prevent money laundering risks…From this day forward, any organization or individual that participates in Bitcoin or Litecoin trading withdrawals or deposits, purchase or sale of recharge codes, or other related transactions are not allowed to use their bank account to transfer funds for that purpose.  If found, the bank is entitled to suspend such transactions and cancel such accounts.  If found, the bank is entitled to suspend such transactions and cancel such accounts. If the public finds out about such acts, they can be reported to the bank online. This announcement is hereby certified.”

Clearly, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has finally given some clarity to its position, and has passed a message via these lower tier banks. As pointed out by CoinDesk, the PBOC simply cannot deal directly with relatively small and obscure issues in a country of 1.3 billion people. As much as the cryptocurrency community would like it to be otherwise, Bitcoin is still (in economic terms) a niche area, compared to other business sectors.

The affected exchanges are: OKCoinHuobi, BTC ChinaBtcTrade and CHBTC. Together, the businesses posted a statement on Sina  Weibo, in which they set up a voluntary set of commitments to create a healthy Bitcoin ecosystem in China.

“we also see there are some problems bitcoins in China’s development, such as prices rose too fast, making the manipulator, the risk of lack of retail tips, etc., has led to the emergence of a number of small investors lost. As Bitcoin trading platform, currently appears on various issues, we do not shirk responsibility.Currently OKCoin, BtcTrade, fire currency network, bitcoin China, CHBTC five trading platform after deep reflection and discussion, decided to take a self-consistent action to promote positive development of Bitcoin.”

Fortunately, the show shall go on without the Chinese execs. There will be speeches covering various topics on starting a Bitcoin based business. Speakers include Bitcoin evangelist, Roger Ver, ZHAO Changpeng (Head of Development at Blockchain.info), and Anthony di lorio, the executive Director of Bitcoin Alliance of Canada, to mention just a few.

Following the fall out of the Chinese banks’ statements, BTC China had to announce that it has suspended Yuan deposits from the Bank of China. (Note that the original tweet has since been deleted.)

Sources: CoinDesk, Cryptocoin News

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Coinbuzz

CoinBuzz provides news and analysis on Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Founded in 2014, the site has quickly become a leading source of information on digital currency technologies, businesses, markets, and regulation.

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