The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, is continuing its involvement in looking into bitcoin exchanges’ activities in the country by holding a ‘closed-door’ meeting with domestic bitcoin exchanges.
According to a Bloomberg report, PBOC officials are meeting representatives from a number of regional bitcoin exchanges in a private meeting on Wednesday afternoon, local time.
The publication’s source points to money laundering as one of several topics on the agenda in the closed-doors meeting.
The PBOC has publicly revealed its involvement and several ‘on-site inspections’ for a little over a month now, when bitcoin prices reached gold parity and pushed toward an all-time high. Details are scarce, but today’s reported private meeting prolongs the PBOC’s involvement in wielding its authority as the country’s financial regulator at a time when capital outflows are at record highs in the face of a falling yuan.
The PBOC first announced that it had met representatives from BTCChina, Huobi and OKCoin, the three major bitcoin trading platforms in the country, on January 6th. The apex bank cited “abnormal price fluctuations” as a factor for its intervention while stating its intention “to guard against risks and maintain financial stability.”
Bitcoin fell nearly 4,000 CNY (approx. $300) as news and speculation of the PBOC’s involvement spread.
Within a week, the PBOC confirmed “on-site checks” of the three exchanges in Beijing and Shanghai, further accelerating bitcoin’s downward spiral at the time to strike a low of $790 that day, losing over 14% in value.
Soon after, the three exchanges quickly pulled the plug on margin trading for Chinese investors unofficially, before a formal announcement followed. On January 24th, the bitcoin exchanges began charging trading fees at a flat 0.2 percent per transaction to bring an end to zero-fee trading. Upon enforcement, bitcoin trading volumes saw a steep fall in the country.
Following today’s news, bitcoin prices were impacted minimally in China. Trading at BTCChina saw BTC/CNY reach a high of 7,545 CNY ($1096.85) for the day before falling to 7,150 CNY ($1,039.43). At the time of publishing, bitcoin price has since bounced back toward 7,350 CNY ($1,068) losing approximately 2.5% in value.
Image from Shutterstock. Chart from BitcoinWisdom.