Date
19 October 2017
Bitcoin Online As Volume Of Transactions Grows

The Big Picture: BITCOIN CRASH

BTC China, the world’s biggest bitcoin exchange, has stopped accepting customer deposits after the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) on Monday ordered third-party payment providers to halt payment and settlement services for bitcoin trading websites, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

In a closed-door meeting Monday, Zhou Jinhuang {周金黃}, deputy director of the PBoC’s payment department, ordered more than 10 third-party payment providers to stop providing payment services to bitcoin trading websites, according to Yicai.com, which cited sources who participated in the meeting. Outstanding deposits should be taken out from exchanges by the coming Chinese New Year, Zhou is said to have urged.

BTC China’s chief executive Bobby Lee confirmed the reports in an interview with Bloomberg News on Wednesday. He said BTC China received a notice from TenPay, which is owned by Tencent Holdings (00700.HK), that it will not provide payment services to the exchange.

Due to the central bank’s latest move to curb bitcoin traders, the cryptocurrency crashed 61 percent to about 2,050 yuan (US$334) per unit by Wednesday evening from 5,293 yuan on Monday. It was priced at 7,005 yuan on Dec. 5 before the central bank launched some curbs that day.

With a daily trading volume of up to 110,000 bitcoins, BTC China, founded in June 2011, has overtaken Japan’s Mt.Gox and UK-based BitStamp as the world’s largest bitcoin bourse.

Market observers say bitcoin will continue to be under pressure in China due to the central bank’s curbs. The PBoC is likely to step up its tightening measures until the speculative fervor on the digital currency cools completely.

Li pledges to step up environmental protection

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for increased investment and innovative methods to support key environmental protection projects, Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday. Li told a regular State Council meeting that an integrated approach is needed to balance environmental protection, economic development and civil affairs. Projects include ecological protection and restoration in Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve in Qinghai province, and Beijing and Tianjin Sandstorm Source Control.

Home prices seen peaking in major cities

Home prices in major Chinese cities are expected to peak in the first quarter next year, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a study by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Third and fourth-tier cities may see weaker home prices as sales continue to stagnate. However, the government-backed think tank ruled out a crash in the property market.

– Contact HKEJ at [email protected]

JP/AC/RC

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