Ever since late 2013, there have been numerous reports from China saying that Bitcoin is banned or that Bitcoin exchanges in China will not be able to work with Chinese banks. The most recent rumors state that Bitcoin exchanges will need to end relationships with various banks in China by April 15th, but there is still some confusion as to whether or not this is an official order coming from the People’s Bank of China. Although no one is really sure of the current status of Bitcoin in China, the markets seem to think that Bitcoin trading could become a bit more difficult for Chinese individuals in the near future.
No More Bank Deposits?
A few Bitcoin exchanges in China, including OKCoin, have received notices from their respective banks stating that their accounts will be suspended by April 15th. While this isn’t necessarily a ban on Bitcoin, it definitely makes things much more difficult for the exchanges operating in China. Chinese Bitcoin exchanges will now have to put up with new deposit and withdrawal methods for their users.
OKCoin has already come up with a new plan for their traders to use when it comes to taking fiat currency in and out of the platform. This particular Bitcoin exchange is going to use a new deposit code feature, which will allow users to trade deposit codes freely between each other. Deposit codes can be bought and sold with other OKCoin users, which means the exchange is basically looking to recycle the money that they already have in the system for as long as possible. While this should definitely not be viewed as a long term solution, it shows that some of the exchanges still have some tricks up their sleeves when it comes to staying in business. Just because the relationships between Bitcoin exchanges and their banks may be over does not mean that we’re looking at the end of Bitcoin in China.
Bitcoin is Still Legal
On more than one occasion, the People’s Bank of China has noted that there is currently no ban on Bitcoin in the country. Some members of the PBOC have actually pointed out certain features of Bitcoin that they find attractive. While there are plenty of people who are worried about a complete ban on Bitcoin in China, the reality is the people of China are still allowed to use and trade bitcoins as long as they understand the risks involved with the cryptocurrency. There are a large number of options still on the table when it comes to getting fiat currency into Chinese Bitcoin exchanges, and the current worries inside China seem to be rather overblown. As BTC China’s Bobby Lee stated, these most recent changes to the laws and regulations around Bitcoin in China are more about forcing exchanges to jump through a few more extra hoops rather than banning Bitcoin completely.