In the latest twist in the China versus cryptocurrencies saga, Beijing is reportedly set to ban all domestic bitcoin trading. Here’s the WSJ:
Chinese authorities are preparing to shut down the country’s bitcoin exchanges, according to people familiar with the matter, reflecting a growing unease with the virtual currency and its recent surge in value.
Cryptocurrency prices cratered soon after the news broke out. Bitcoin slid roughly 10%, while Ethereum dipped approximately 12%. They’ve since recovered some of those losses, but gains remain weak compared to the usual.
The move apparently caught quite a few digital currency fans off-guard. Despite being seen it as a conduit for capital flight – among many other ills – China has allowed bitcoin trading to flourish over the past few years.
At any rate, it isn’t clear when Beijing will start shutting down the bitcoin exchanges. Some are speculating that the suspensions will be imminent, while others are saying that it would take months to be implemented. I imagine some people would even bet that it wouldn’t happen at all. If this is anything like China’s other loud and overarching bans however, I’m guessing this won’t hold for long. Stay tuned.