Officials from the People's Bank of China (PBOC) met with representatives of major bitcoin exchanges this week to urge their compliance with "relevant laws and regulations", according to statements from the central bank.
Representatives from BTCC, OKCoin and Huobi were all in attendance, according to documents. OKCoin was cited under its Chinese-facing brand name.
Overall, the public statements aimed to serve as a reminder to citizens who may be considering the digital currency as an investment, and both quoted a government circular released in 2013 saying that bitcoin is a virtual good and doesn’t have legal tender status.
The comments come at a time when bitcoin prices have been highly volatile, rising to near all-time highs only to decline by more than $250 within a few hours of trading.
An informal translation of the document reads:
Officials at Huobi and OKCoin were contacted, but at press time, have yet to respond publicly to the news.
Additional contributions to this article were made by Alistar Milne, Zane Tackett and Eric Mu.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.