Re­ports: China or­ders bit­coin ex­changes shut

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - FRONT PAGE -

Reg­u­la­tors or­der clo­sure af­ter un­cer­tainty about the dig­i­tal cur­rency’s fu­ture caused its price to plunge.

BEI­JING » Reg­u­la­tors have or­dered Chi­nese bit­coin ex­changes to close, two busi­ness news­pa­pers re­ported Thurs­day, af­ter un­cer­tainty about the dig­i­tal cur­rency’s fu­ture in China caused its price to plunge.

Reg­u­la­tors in Shang­hai, the coun­try’s fi­nan­cial cen­ter, gave ver­bal in­struc­tions to ex­change op­er­a­tors to shut down, China Busi­ness News and 21st Cen­tury Eco­nomic Re­port said on their web­sites. They gave no other de­tails.

Bit­coin’s value tum­bled 15 per­cent Thurs­day to about $3,300. The fa­mously volatile cur­rency has shed about a third of its value since Sept. 1 but is up from about $600 a year ago.

China’s cen­tral bank has yet to re­spond to ques­tions about bit­coin’s fu­ture in the coun­try but ear­lier warned it was traded with­out reg­u­la­tory over­sight and might be linked to fraud. The bank banned ini­tial of­fer­ings of new dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies last week.

Bit­coin is cre­ated and ex­changed with­out the in­volve­ment of banks or gov­ern­ments. Trans­ac­tions al­low anonymity, which has made bit­coin pop­u­lar with peo­ple who want to con­ceal their ac­tiv­ity. Bit­coin can be con­verted to cash when de­posited into ac­counts at prices set in on­line trad­ing.

In­ter­est in China in bit­coin surged last year af­ter the price rose. A Chi­nese busi­ness news mag­a­zine, Caixin, said at one point up to 90 per­cent of global trad­ing took place in China.

Trad­ing vol­ume has fallen as reg­u­la­tors tight­ened con­trols.

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