The three largest Chinese Bitcoin exchanges, BTC China, Huobi, and OKCoin, have all announced that their February suspension of Bitcoin withdrawals will continue indefinitely, pending regulatory approval from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). The three exchanges announced the continuation of their self-imposed withdrawal suspension in separate statements released yesterday.
In those statements, the exchanges suggested that the suspension of withdrawal activity will remain in place until the PBOC has formally approved the companies’ recent compliance infrastructure upgrades. Those upgrades began last month after the central bank informed the country’s exchanges that it would close any Bitcoin exchange that failed to follow its rules governing foreign exchange activity, payments, and money laundering.
OKCoin and Huobi had initially estimated that they would need a month to complete their upgrades. BTC China’s original suspension announcement contained no estimated timeframe. This week’s announcements indicate that the three exchanges are seeking more concrete assurances from the PBOC, with BTCC acknowledging that the group is currently working to develop some type of self-regulatory system – perhaps to guard against these types of disruptions in the future.
According to recent reports, the PBOC is continuing to investigate China’s Bitcoin exchanges, as authorities continue to be concerned about a weakening yuan and the potential for Bitcoin to serve as a means for capital flight from the country.