A report from Caixin sent the Bitcoin community into a tailspin today, after the Chinese media outlet suggested that the nation’s regulatory authorities were preparing to shut down domestic digital currency exchanges. The report is based on information from unnamed sources, who claim that the authorities have already issued an order directing local regulators to begin the process of closing those exchanges.
The Caixin story claims that the regulators are not moving to ban digital currency altogether – at least not yet. Nevertheless, Chinese traders were understandably spooked by the news. Bitcoin’s price on those Chinese exchanges dropped by more than 13%. In the U.S., the price tumbled by more than 7% after the news broke.
At this point, the report appears to be unconfirmed, and its sources have yet to be identified. It’s also important to note that the country’s three main exchanges have all said that they’ve received no notice of any imminent shutdown order. According to Bloomberg, Huobi and OKCoin have reportedly denied receiving any such notification from authorities. BTCC echoed those denials in a tweet:
The Caixin report has added to investor concerns that the Chinese government is moving to exercise greater control over the digital currency markets. Authorities issued a ban on initial coin offerings earlier this week, so many traders are carefully watching for any rumors or reports indicating that additional regulatory actions might be forthcoming.