Chinese bitcoin exchange BTC China has announced it will lower trading commission fees from 0.3% to 0.1% for all trades executed after midday China time (4:00 am GMT) today, 24th February.
It will also retain its 'maker-taker' fee model, meaning those placing limit orders at prices set by them (market 'makers') will still be exempt from all fees, and actually receive a 0.1% rebate. The model is useful because it adds to market liquidity.
BTC China had previously reduced fees for withdrawal into Chinese yuan from 1% to 0.5% on 3rd January.
The company had been China's largest and busiest bitcoin trader until December last year, when the People's Bank of China (PBOC) placed a series of new restrictions on deposits to and withdrawals from exchanges via banks and third-party payment processors. Trading volumes at all exchanges fell together with bitcoin prices as traders rushed to cash out.
Since then bitcoin exchanges have jostled for market share with a series of innovations and interpretations of the rules, with some suggestions that true trading volumes were being manipulated to gain attention. Most exchanges are able to accept donations by channeling them through corporate bank accounts, and BTC China also offers a deposit-by-voucher system.
BTC China itself reduced trading fees to 0% in September 2013, before raising them to 0.3% in December in an attempt to mollify the central bank's concerns that the market had become overheated and could cause disruption to the mainstream financial system.
They may not go any lower than the current model, though. BTC China CEO Bobby Lee admitted in January that the company would not have abolished fees altogether had it known the PBOC would react as it did, and said such 0% fee models benefited high-frequency traders and speculators over ordinary traders and bitcoin miners.
Low trading fees brought in hordes of new traders and saw Chinese exchanges become wildly popular in 2013, probably even acting as a catalyst for bitcoin's sudden value rise to record highs in the last quarter of that year.
Bitcoin value on Huobi and OKCoin was around the 3780 CNY ($620) mark at the time of writing, with BTC China marginally higher at 3801 CNY ($623).
Trading screen image via Shutterstock