China's Bitcoin Exchange Freeze May Be Likely to Continue

China's bitcoin users may have to wait for the National People's Congress before services are restored at the country's major exchanges.

Mar 9, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:08 p.m. UTC

China's bitcoin users and traders may face a further wait for services to be restored at the country's major exchanges.

While BTCC, Huobi and OKCoin yesterday announced that they had completed technical upgrades requested by the People's Bank of China, local legal experts believe a decision is likely to be delayed until the end of the National People's Congress, which unites lawmakers through 15th March.

Financial services consultant Zennon Kapron, an author who has written on China's relationship with bitcoin, for example, believes it's "unlikely" that any change in the regulator's current positions will be made before then.

Bitcoin withdrawals at major exchanges have been suspended since 9th February, when Huobi and OKCoin revealed they would halt operations for one month in order to upgrade their AML systems.

BTCC, while originally promising a speedy return to normal, eventually said it would delay services for one month, as well, and smaller exchanges later followed suit.

In agreement with Kapron was Roland Sun, legal lead for blockchain consortium effort ChinaLedger, who said exchanges weren't likely to reopen "this week or next" due to the congress.

Adding to the speculation is that China-based bitcoin exchange Yunbi, which was one of the rare services not to suspend withdrawals, announced yesterday that it would cease allowing bitcoin and litecoin transactions.

The exchange stated:

"Due to the uncertainty of AML system upgrading time, the resuming time has not been determined."

Ancient gate image via Shutterstock

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