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China Steps Up Curbs on Virtual Currency Trading
12 September 2017, 12:40 | Frank Carlson
Bitcoin Price Takes a Tumble Amid Rumors of China Banning Cryptocurrency Trading
China was once the world's largest Bitcoin marketplace, accounting for almost 90% of global trading. For a brief period of time, the Chinese exchange market overtook the U.S. in terms of market share to become the largest bitcoin market in the world, for the first time since November of 2016.
In a move that could severely affect the whole cryptocurrency industry, Chinese authorities are now planning to shut down domestic bitcoin exchanges across mainland China. Immediately after the imposition of strict regulations and policies on bitcoin trading platforms in 2016, investors stopped trading bitcoin at a premium rate within the Chinese exchange market. As Fortune points out, Chinese investors use Bitcoin to protect themselves in case the yuan crumbles.
Chinese authorities have reportedly made a decision to ban the trading of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on domestic exchanges, the Wall Street Journalreports.
The Wall Street Journal is a massively influential mainstream media publication in the global finance sector. In fact, about a week ago, Bitcoin even briefly passed the $5,000 mark, quickly thereafter dropping to around $4,700.
Monday, September 11, Bitcoin price shows signs of recovery and holds on to a level above $4,100 per BTC. Bitcoin's growing popularity in China may have caused the government to begin to perceive it as a threat to local currency, especially as Chinese investors bought up bitcoin and bet against the yuan previous year.
Exchanges including Okcoin and Huobi have already said that they received no notices from the Chinese government and that business is as usual.
Despite having less than 2 percent of the network's transactions SegWit-enabled, the solution has led to a 0.8 MB average block size, substantial drop in the size of bitcoin mempool from 150 million to 6 million bytes, and most importantly, the elimination of bitcoin blockchain congestion.
Within a period of three days, bitcoin experienced two minor corrections, pulling back the upward momentum and strong rally it had maintained for a few weeks.
According to the reports, the ban will be limited to exchange-based trading and will not affect over-the-counter transactions. But, as bitcoin mining and blockchain research firm BitFury Vice Chairman George Kikvadze explained, the impact of the Chinese government's announcement was minimal and the bitcoin market recovered within hours.
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