BTCC, China’s first and longest-running bitcoin exchange, announced on its corporate website that it has been acquired by an unnamed Hong Kong-based blockchain investment fund.
The deal came after Chinese regulators launched a crackdown on virtual currency trading last year.
The Hong Kong blockchain investment fund intends to expand the company to markets worldwide. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Today’s acquisition is an incredible milestone for BTCC that validates all of our hard work over the past few years,” BTCC co-founder Bobby Lee tweeted. “I’m excited about the resources this gives BTCC to move faster and aggressively grow our businesses in 2018 and beyond!”
Founded in 2011, BTC China is one of the top three bitcoin exchanges by trading volume in China, the other two being Huobi and OKCoin.
Since September last year, however, the exchange has stopped trading for China-based customers upon instructions from the government.
In its announcement on Tuesday, the company said it will focus its operations on the international market, offering its three major products – BTCC Pool, Mobi and USD Exchange.
“We now have the resources to more fully realize our vision of safeguarding and stabilizing digital currencies’ blockchains,” said Denver Zhao, senior vice president of BTCC Mining Pool. “Going forward, we’ll provide better, fairer, more transparent, and more comprehensive mining services to our customers worldwide.”
Mobi, its multi-currency digital wallet introduced in March 2017, now has customers from over 180 countries, according to Mark Ma, vice president of BTCC Mobi.
Amid the crackdown on cryptocurrency trading and initial coin offerings in China, companies in the sector have been looking for opportunities overseas. Huobi and OKCoin are reported to have relocated their businesses to Hong Kong late last year.
Earlier this month, Chinese authorities asked local governments to “guide” companies to make an “orderly exit” from bitcoin-mining operations, according to a document leaked online.
Reuters reported that China is also planning to limit power supply to bitcoin miners.
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