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Bitcoin News: China's Great Firewall To Block Crypto Websites | Fortune

Bitcoin News: China's Great Firewall To Block Crypto Websites | Fortune

Now, according to local media, China will block access to domestic and foreign services to prevent financial risk. China has a long tradition of blocking unwanted foreign websites using the so-called Great Firewall of China. Overseas transactions and regulatory evasion have resumed, said an article published Sunday night by the Peoples Bank of China-affiliated Financial News, as quoted by the South China Morning Post. Risks are still there, fueled by illegal issuance, and even fraud and pyramid selling. The central bank reportedly said it would tighten regulations on Chinese peoples participation in overseas cryptocurrency transactions and ICOs. According to SCMP, cryptocurrency ads have also now vanished from the Baidu search engine and the social media platform Weibo, much as recently happened with Facebook . The latest Chinese news comes at a shaky point for Bitcoin. Having slid below the $8,000 mark on Friday, Bitcoin recovered slightly before falling again through Sunday and Monday. The price at the time of writing is $7,986. Apart from regulatory moves around the world, the latest development spooking the market is the decision by major U.S. banks to ban the use of their credit cards for cryptocurrency purchases. The U.K.s Lloyds Banking Group followed suit on Monday. Continue reading >>

Beijing Bans Bitcoin, But When Did It All Go Wrong For Cryptocurrencies In China?

Beijing Bans Bitcoin, But When Did It All Go Wrong For Cryptocurrencies In China?

Beijing bans bitcoin, but when did it all go wrong for cryptocurrencies in China? Beijing bans bitcoin, but when did it all go wrong for cryptocurrencies in China? PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 February, 2018, 8:25pm UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 February, 2018, 10:34pm Bitcoin mania puts cryptos in sight of world finance chiefs With the announcement that it plans to block all websites related to cryptocurrency trading and initial coin offerings including foreign platforms Beijing has left no one in any doubt of its position on the highly volatile commodity. But its views on the currency, or asset class depending on your point of view has not always been so fervent, as this timeline shows: China to stamp out cryptocurrency trading completely with ban on foreign platforms Bitcoin is barely on the radar of financial regulators as China adopts a relatively hands off approach to the cryptocurrency. The Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) and four other financial regulators issue a joint notice outlining the risks associated with bitcoin. Beijing states that it is not a currency, and prohibits banks and other financial institutes from trading in it. At the same time, the government acknowledges the cryptocurrency as a commodity traded online and allows the public to buy and sell it as they please, with its only proviso being that they do so at their own risk. Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan describes bitcoin as an asset class like rare stamps and says the government is not even considering banning it. The PBOC says it plans to issue a sovereign digital currency that could help to reduce the cost of circulating banknotes, promote economic activity and aid the fight against money-laundering. The Chinese bitcoin mining machine sellers immune to the cryptocurrency crackdown After conducting inv Continue reading >>

This Is The Pattern For Suppressing Bitcoin, Says A Chinese Crypto Exchanges Ceo

This Is The Pattern For Suppressing Bitcoin, Says A Chinese Crypto Exchanges Ceo

This is the pattern for suppressing bitcoin, says a Chinese crypto exchanges CEO This is how its going to be for the next five years. So get used to it. Bobby Lee, CEO and co-founder of BTCC, is pictured in Shanghai in 2013. A prominent figure in cryptocurrencies has a prediction for how governments worldwide will crack down on bitcoin: Theyll follow the existing pattern. The global pattern to suppress bitcoin consists of regulating crypto exchanges, banning initial coin offerings and requiring proof of funds, said Bobby Lee, CEO and co-founder of BTCC, which was a big Chinese bitcoin exchange until it shuttered in that country last year as Beijing banned domestic exchanges . The pattern also has been to require stricter know your customer processes, while limiting transfers and levying taxes, he said. (Proof of funds refers to documentation that one has the means for transactions.) This is the pattern, said Lee in a keynote speech on Jan. 23 at the Blockchain Week 2018 conference in London, as he shared the slide pictured below. This is how its been for the last five years. This is how its going to be for the next five years. So get used to it. As long as youre going from crypto to fiat [currency], from fiat to crypto, you will always encounter these. The photo shows one of the slides that Lee shared at the Blockchain Week 2018 conference in London. Lee the brother of Litecoin creator Charlie Lee also sounded bullish about bitcoin, as he predicted a rally in prices and said the virtual currency is designed and engineered to survive. He said the Chinese governments views on bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.07% arent that unique. It turns out what China regulators think about bitcoin is a proxy for what global regulators think about bitcoin, he said. Its just that the global regulato Continue reading >>

Bitcoin: China, Singapore, Japan Issue Cryptocurrency Warnings

Bitcoin: China, Singapore, Japan Issue Cryptocurrency Warnings

Thank empty Chinese cities for bitcoin's rise Japan First-mover in legalizing bitcoin Japanese lawmakers in April allowed the use ofbitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies to make payments and in September officially recognized 11 cryptocurrency exchange operators. The country , however, has no plans yet to issue its own digital currency. Recently, the Bank of Japan joined the chorus of warnings about the rapid rise in the price of bitcoin. Governor Kuroda said Thursday the price increase was "abnormal" and bitcoin is "being traded for investment or speculative purposes," not functioning as a means of payment or settlement. The Reserve Bank of India has repeatedly warned of the risks in trading virtual currencies. Regulators are also worried that cryptocurrencies may be used by people to evade tax, launder money or finance terrorism. Last week, authorities widened their probe into possible wrongdoings linked to cryptocurrencies. South Korea Monitoring financial institutions South Korea has banned its financial institutions from dealing in virtual currencies, including buying, possessing or holding them as collateral. ICOs will also be outlawed, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement earlier this month. The country accounts for some 20 percent of bitcoin trading worldwide, AFP reported . About one million South Koreans, many of them small-time investors, are estimated to own bitcoin. Australia Bitcoin is a "speculative mania" Reserve Bank of Australia's governor Philip Lowe called the fascination with virtual currencies a "speculative mania" and added that bitcoin is more likely to be attractive to those transacting in the illegal economy, than consumers. The central bank chief also talked down the possibility of issuing a digital form of the local currency Continue reading >>

Report: Pboc Quashes Bitcoin Mining Ban Rumor In China

Report: Pboc Quashes Bitcoin Mining Ban Rumor In China

Report: PBoC Quashes Bitcoin Mining Ban Rumor in China Jan 4, 2018 at 17:00 UTC|UpdatedJan 4, 2018 at 17:15 UTC The People's Bank of China has put to rest a rumor that it would order a domestic shutdown of bitcoin mining activities, according to a local media outlet. The report, published on Jan. 4 by the Chinese business publication Caixin, said that China's central bank did not host any meetings to discuss a policy requiring the closure of bitcoin mining operations in the country by a certain deadline. The meeting had supposedly taken place on Jan. 3. However, Caixin's report, which did not identify its sources, indicates that top regulators in China are planning to withdraw preferential benefits such as tax deductions and cheap electricity supplies available to bitcoin mining companies. This means the government's current stance on bitcoin mining is to neither encourage nor hamper such activities. This change is the latest move from Chinese regulators in the cryptocurrency industry after previously issuing a ban on initial coin offering and tightening restrictions on crypto exchanges. According to the report, the rumor first emerged through a photo on the WeChat messaging platform that purportedly showed Guo Hongcai, a notable and active investor in the bitcoin industry in China, claiming there would be a ban. Guo later said that this image was fake through his WeChat account. Despite his disavowal, a Chinese bitcoin blog, 45-block , published a report that the PBoC was discussing a ban on bitcoin mining. The same report also said the central bank would soon require government bodies at different levels to survey and report on the number and locations of bitcoin mining facilities within their territories in an effort to shut down such activities. The claim was signi Continue reading >>

Is Bitcoin Banned In China?

Is Bitcoin Banned In China?

By Shobhit Seth | February 12, 2018 6:45 AM EST Earlier this month, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) which is the central regulatory authority that regulates financial institutions and drafts the monetary policy of the country, issued a statement that it would block access to all domestic and foreign cryptocurrency exchanges and ICO websites. As per the news , China aims to clamp down on all cryptocurrency trading with a ban on foreign exchanges. China has recently beenissuing regular advisories and taking steps to deter the use of cryptocurrency in the country. The recent development can completely eliminate cryptocurrency trading and mining activities in the worlds most populous nation. Chinese regulatory authorities had imposed a ban on initial coin offerings (ICO) , a cryptocurrency-based fundraising process, and termed it illegal in China inSeptember 2017. That ban triggered an instant 6% decline in bitcoin prices. Following the ban, theShanghai-based BTCC bitcoin exchange was forced to close its Chinese trading operations. (For more, see China Intensifies Crackdown On Bitcoin Mining .) These regulatory actions by China are aimed at controlling the increasingmania involving decentralized, non-regulated cryptocurrencies which have recently soared toastronomical valuations. However, despite the ICO ban and momentary decline, cryptocurrency trading continued in China, as many participants switched to foreign exchanges, like those based in Hong Kong and Japan, to deal in virtual currencies. (See more: China's Cryptocurrencies Have Gone Underground .) In a series of measures, the PBOC is tightening regulations on domestic dealers engaged in foreign cryptocurrency transactions and ICOs. It has also forbidden China-based financial institutions from any dealing and fundi Continue reading >>

Bitcoin Continues Rapid Slide As Russia And China Stoke Regulatory Fears

Bitcoin Continues Rapid Slide As Russia And China Stoke Regulatory Fears

Bitcoin continues rapid slide as Russia and China stoke regulatory fears Bitcoin dropped a further $2,000 in value, leading the general slide across cryptocurrency markets as investor confidence waivers Last modified on Wed 17 Jan 2018 17.01EST Chinese state media reported that the government planning to stamp out remaining cryptocurrency trading in the country following its crackdown last year.Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters Cryptocurrencies continued their sharp tumble on Wednesday as bitcoin dropped by over 16% as continued fears of regulation from Russia and China dent investor confidence. The price of the worlds biggest and best known cryptocurrency fell $2,000 to as low as $10,000, on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, for the first time since November, and down from lows of $11,200 on Monday and $12,000 at 2pm GMT Tuesday. Bitcoin led the fall on other cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and Ripple, over suggestions that Russia and China may crack down on trading. What is bitcoin and is it a bad investment? Bitcoin is the first, and the biggest, cryptocurrency a decentralised tradeable digital asset. Whether it is a bad investment is the big question. Bitcoin can only be used as a medium of exchange and in practice has been far more important for the dark economy than it has for most legitimate uses. The lack of any central authority makes bitcoin remarkably resilient to censorship, corruption or regulation. That means it has attracted a range of backers, from libertarian monetarists who enjoy the idea of a currency with no inflation and no central bank, to drug dealers who like the fact that it is hard (but not impossible) to trace a bitcoin transaction back to a physical person. Chinese state media reported that the government planning to stamp out remain Continue reading >>

Bitcoin Trading Survives In China Despite Crackdown

Bitcoin Trading Survives In China Despite Crackdown

The Chinese government has been tough on bitcoin it banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) and shut down local bitcoin exchanges last September, and now its looking into cracking down on local bitcoin mining pools . Despite all this, investors in China are still finding ways to join the cryptocurrency craze. Theyre just paying a higher price for the privilege. Even the Chinese government cant stop people from using yuan to buy bitcoin. (Getty) Chinese buyers are turning to over-the-counter (OTC) trading platforms like Huobi, OKEx and OTCBTC, networks that link individual buyers to sellers. On these sites, buying cryptocurrencies is like shopping on Ebay: choose the coin you want, then offers from multiple sellers appear. Buyers can link their bank accounts or use popular mobile payment methods like Alibabas Alipay or Tencents WeChat Pay. Once they get their hands on the coins, investors can trade them on any exchange in the world. Theres just one caveat: prices on these OTC platforms are typically 10% to 20% higher than the prices on most other exchanges. On Jan. 18, when bitcoin ( BTC-USD ) was trading at $11,730 on Coinbase, the biggest U.S. brokerage, the lowest price on the Huobi OTC platform was 84,000 yuan, or $13,085. The premium that Chinese investors pay is a direct result of the limited OTC coin supply caused by government regulations. For more sophisticated folks, theres an arbitrage opportunity: Traders will buy cryptocurrencies cheaply on foreign exchanges and immediately sell on domestic OTC platforms at a higher price. But there are risks, including price volatility, slow transaction times and Chinas strict control on capital outflows. OTC market is booming under regulatory shade This chart shows the recent jump in transactions on OTCBTC, a major OTC crypt Continue reading >>

How China's Stifling Bitcoin And Cryptocurrencies | Fortune

How China's Stifling Bitcoin And Cryptocurrencies | Fortune

China, home to the worlds biggest community of Bitcoin miners, is cracking down on cryptocurrency activity. From a halt to virtual currency trading on domestic exchanges to banning initial coin offerings, regulators have taken a proactive role in shaping the stratospheric rise of Bitcoin and its peers. The countrys moves come as President Xi Jinping targets financial risk in the economy following a decade of booms and busts in everything from stocks to real estate. The result: Chinas once-dominant role in the world of cryptocurrencies is shrinking. First it banned initial coin offerings, or ICOs the equivalent of initial public offerings for new virtual currencies. Then it called on local exchanges to stop trading in cryptocurrencies and outlined proposals to discourage bitcoin mining the energy-intensive computing process that makes transactions with the digital currency possible. Its also moved to stop Chinese companies listed abroad skirting its domestic ban on ICOs. (New York-listed Renren Inc. was said to cancel a planned overseas ICO). Officials now intend to block domestic access to online platforms and mobile apps that offer exchange-like services for cryptocurrencies. Domestic stock exchanges, too, are targeteing companies that promote themselves as blockchain-related to boost their shares. Its part of a concerted effort by agencies including the central bank, the cyberspace administration and Chinas Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Bitcoin and its peers can still be traded, but only in over-the-counter markets, a slower process that some analysts say increases credit risk. Theres been no explicit explanation, but cleansing risk from financial markets has been a government mantra for more than two years. Among the main concerns is the booming s Continue reading >>

Inside The World Of Chinese Bitcoin Mining

Inside The World Of Chinese Bitcoin Mining

Inside the world of Chinese bitcoin mining China is one of the main exchange markets and hosts some of the biggest bitcoin 'mining pools' in the world. An employee assembles a calculation board at a bitcoin mine in Sichuan Province, China. Sichuan has become known as the capital of bitcoin mining; with an abundance of hydropower, it can cope with the electricity needs. [EPA/Liu Xingzhe/CHINAFILE] Bitcoin is a virtual currency devised by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto as a revolutionary monetary system independent of central banks and governments. The currency is booming as an investment asset and form of payment in China , Japan and South Korea. The value of one bitcoin exceeded $12,000 in January. China is one of the main exchange markets of bitcoin, although the currency exists in a legal limbo and is prone to speculation. The country hosts some of the biggest "mining pools" in the world where clusters of supercomputers mint new bitcoins and maintain the system. Some of these supercomputers are installed in rural places close to power plants. One such area is Sichuan, which has quietly become known as "the capital of bitcoin mining". Entrepreneurial Chinese set up mines in the province due to its abundance of hydropower, perfect for the high energy needs of the computers required for bitcoin mining. Bitcoin mines are buildings equipped with massive numbers of microprocessors where miners solve complex maths problems and are rewarded in the digital currency. They are often built beside hydroelectric plants set up along mountain streams. These plants often produce more energy than they can sell to China's state grid, and some plant owners have found they can either sell the surplus to bitcoin mines or set up their own mines. The industry operates in a legal grey area Continue reading >>

How Chinese Bitcoin Buyers Are Getting Around Government Ban

How Chinese Bitcoin Buyers Are Getting Around Government Ban

How Chinese Bitcoin Buyers Are Getting Around Government Ban Chinese citizens are still investing in Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market despite the governments heavy crackdown on the industry. Chinese citizens are still investing in Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market despite the governments heavy crackdown. In September 2017, Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges BTCC China, Huobi and OKCoin were ordered by the government to shut down their businesses. At one point, executives of the three cryptocurrency exchanges were prevented from leaving the country, due to a government investigation into local cryptocurrency exchanges. Three months later, in December of 2017, Chinas three largest cryptocurrency exchanges relocated their businesses to Hong Kong. BTCC China, Huobi and OKCoin rebranded to BTCC, Huobi Pro and OKEx, respectively. They intended to address the rapidly growing demand from Hong Kong-based investors. Shortly after their move, the three trading platforms started to see daily volumes from Chinese investors grow exponentially. Somehow, Chinese investors were managing to circumvent Chinese trading restrictions by using Hong Kong-based exchanges. How is this possible? In Hong Kong, it is relatively easy for investors to set up businesses. With less than $1,000, businesses can be legally created, which allows the opening of business bank accounts at Hong Kong-based financial institutions. Beginning in December 2017, many Chinese investors moved their funds from their Chinese bank accounts to Hong Kong bank accounts and started to trade cryptocurrencies more actively, effectively bypassing Chinas restrictions. But, unlike China, Hong Kong has a substantially lower supply to meet the growing demand. While China is home to major miners like Bitmain, Hong Kong does Continue reading >>

Assessing China's Bitcoin 'mining Ban'

Assessing China's Bitcoin 'mining Ban'

Although rumorsabout China's intention to ban bitcoin mining were subsequently invalidated, market players continued to believe such a move would be highly positive for bitcoin prices. I sought to explain in this article the significance of such a ban if it is actually implemented. My belief is that miners have ample time to react and thus there should be limited, if any, impact on the price of bitcoins. Readers are encouraged to participate in the poll and share your thoughts in the comments section. Exuberance And Irrational Market Behavior In The Cryptocurrency Field Bitcoin ( COIN ), its related investment trust ( OTCQX:GBTC ), and other cryptocurrencies have hogged global financial headlines in the past year. Attention on the price developments of the cryptocurrencies, discussions on whether it is a Ponzi scheme, the debate on whether it is in a bubble, etc., reached a fever pitch in the last quarter of 2017. As a financial writer and an avid reader of investment news, it has been intriguing to read about the strong arguments from both sides of the camp. Amazement turned to disbelief when the stock prices of a handful of old-fashioned companies skyrocketed almost overnight the moment the management went public on their plans to involve themselves in the blockchain technology. A recent example is Long Island Iced Tea Corp., which upon declaring its aspiration to acquire businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies and changing its name to Long Blockchain Corp. ( LBCC ), its share price nearly quintupled on the news. This was despite it having terrible Altman Z-Score which is not only negative but the worst of the lot compared to several of its peers (see the table below). While the model is not a perfect one, the Altman Z-Score is nonetheless a decent gauge of the prob Continue reading >>

China's Shutdown Of Bitcoin Miners Isn't Just About Electricity

China's Shutdown Of Bitcoin Miners Isn't Just About Electricity

China's Shutdown Of Bitcoin Miners Isn't Just About Electricity I write about the Chinese economy and financial sector. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The most critical aspect to address for China, however, is criminal activity. A woman touches an ATM machine for digital currency Bitcoin in Hong Kong on December 18, 2017. (ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images) Chinas government is planning to shut down Bitcoin miners in its latest crackdown on the cryptocurrency. The Leading Group of Internet Financial Risks Remediation has requested that local governments make an orderly exit from the industry. China produces the most Bitcoin in the world using Bitcoin mining , which involves an energy-intensive process of solving complex math problems to add transactions to the Blockchain, a public ledger. But the crackdown is about more than the high levels of energy required to mine Bitcoin. China is planning to limit electricity to Bitcoin miners, and government bodies have expressed concern about energy usage. Bitcoin mining is estimated to use up to 4 gigawatts of electricity, equivalent to three nuclear reactors' production levels. However, this move isnt just about the electricity. In fact, it is telling that it was China's central bank that met on the issue of Bitcoin mining, underscoring the fact that the issue is not only, or even primarily, an energy issue. Its about clamping down on perceived risks of the cryptocurrency, which regulators have associated with malicious acts like fraud and money laundering. Authorities have already cracked down on thousands of criminal cases associated with alternative cryptocurrencies, including Onecoin and Ticcoin. These cryptocurrencies were viewed as Ponzi schemes used to raise illicit funds. Later, officials shut Continue reading >>

As China Cracks Down On Bitcoin, Indian Cryptocurrency Exchanges Wait And Watch

As China Cracks Down On Bitcoin, Indian Cryptocurrency Exchanges Wait And Watch

The Indian government does not like bitcoin, but unlike its Chinese counterpart, it is in no hurry to clamp down heavily on virtual currencies. Once home to the worlds largest community of bitcoin traders, China is now reportedly considering blocking access to local and offshore platforms that provide centralised trading in virtual currencies. Earlier, it had banned initial coin offerings and had also asked local exchanges to stop trading. While theres no blanket ban on cryptocurrencies, Chinas been exploring ways to curtail their trade as it believes they pose a financial risk . India, too, is uncomfortable with these digital assets and has repeatedly raised red flags. The finance ministry recently even called them a ponzi scheme , sparking fears of a ban, like those imposed by Bangladesh and Indonesia . A few exchanges had even faced trouble from banks . The Indian bitcoin community, meanwhile, is desperate for some clarity. Virtual exchanges believe if the government had to ban them, it would have already. I dont think there will be a knee-jerk reaction from what is happening in other Asian countries. However, at this point we are all just hazarding a guess, said Sathvik Vishwanath, co-founder and CEO of Unocoin, a cryptocurrency exchange. A few think authorities may emulate those in other developed nations, instead of China. It (the government) can look at other areas like the United Kingdom, which havent cracked down on these exchanges, Shubam Yadav, co-founder of Coindelta, another exchange, told Quartz. On its part, Indias central bank has set up a panel to figure out the legal implications of digital coins and how they can be regulated . Right now the government is taking informal steps to ensure it does not become too big to fail, limiting the regulatory choic Continue reading >>

China Is Reportedly Moving To Clamp Down On Bitcoin Miners

China Is Reportedly Moving To Clamp Down On Bitcoin Miners

China banned bitcoin , ICOs and now it appears to be clamping down on Chinese miners, an important group estimated to produce some three-quarters of the worlds supply of bitcoin. According to a leaked January 2 memo from the Leading Group of Internet Financial Risks Remediation the countrys internet finance regulator which initiated the clampdown on bitcoin bitcoin miners should make an orderly exit from China because they have consumedhuge amounts of resources and stoked speculation of virtual currencies. Details of the memo wereposted on Twitter by Chinese blockchain industry executive Elly Zhang and confirmed by Quartz. Notice from China special rectification on risks in Internet Finance department to local government to make a plan before Jan 10th lead mining factories quit gradually #btc #bitcoin #BitcoinMining with Central Bank official Chop. Prepare for the roller coaster!!!! pic.twitter.com/OLv8j1veHb The group itself doesnt control national energy usage but it is an influential political vehicle thats led by the deputy governor of the Peoples Bank of China (PBC), Pan Gongsheng. To remove miners, the group asked its local offices to look into policies around price, tax, land usage and environmental concerns. Its local representatives must report back on their progress of removing miners in their region on a monthly basis, according to Quartz. The situation is complicated by the fact that many miners, and particularly those in China, make use of cheap power, or flock to locations where theres excess capacity. In some cases, mining businesses partner with local governments to ensure a steady supply of electricity at discounted rates, with a portion of the profits returned to the local authorities. Thats offered a welcome economic boost in regions where more tradi Continue reading >>

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