A long-running bitcoin investment platform is shifting gears in light of new regulatory scrutiny in China.
BTC123, established in 2011, announced today that it would halt deposits for a financial management system denominated in bitcoin and the yuan beginning on 26th January. The company is also retooling an interest-generating feature on the site, lowering rates that users can earn effective tomorrow.
In the blog post, the company cited regulatory requirements in China, naming the People’s Bank of China (the country’s central bank) and the Ministry of Public Security (China’s main policy authority), when explaining the changes.
Ricardo Zhang, CEO of BTC123, said that his company is retooling its strategy in light of the shifting regulatory environment. However, Zhang said the startup had not been contacted directly by the central bank.
Echoing other domestic bitcoin services, Zhang said that the site would adhere to any regulations required by the Chinese government.
He told CoinDesk:
BTC123's shift comes after the company announced a new round of funding via the social media platform Weibo when, on 29th December, the site said it had raised 10 million yuan (roughly $1.5m at press time).
In addition to offering financial management and price data from major Chinese exchanges, BTC123 also offers news and information related to bitcoin and blockchain tech.
The development is the first sign that increased scrutiny by regulators in China may be having an effect on bitcoin-related services in the country.
Pete Rizzo contributed reporting.
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