Bitcoin Exchanges Lack Legal Foundation, China Internet Finance Association Says

A self-regulatory body in China focused on online finance has issued a new warning on bitcoin exchange risks.

AccessTimeIconSep 13, 2017 at 3:39 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:55 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

A self-regulatory association in China focused on digital finance has issued a new warning on cryptocurrency trading activities.

In a statement released today, China's National Internet Finance Association (NIFA) asserted that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have become a tool for speculation among investors, while also serving as a payment conduit for illegal fundraising and money laundering. Although a self-regulatory organization and not a regulatory agency itself, NIFA was first initiated in 2015 by the People's Bank of China and approved by the State Council.

The release comes just under two weeks after NIFA published a warning on initial coin offerings, or ICOs, which itself was followed by a ban on the funding model by Chinese regulators. Exchanges and other services focused on ICOs have since moved to halt operations or shut down entirely in the wake of that decision.

Of note is the comment that trading platforms for cryptocurrencies in China are not legally sanctioned, with the organization stating:

"Any trading platform for any kind of so-called 'coin' has no legal base of foundation in China."

The notice came days after reports emerged that China's regulators are reportedly moving toward new restrictions on the country's cryptocurrency exchanges. Thus far, however, no official announcement has been seen from either the People's Bank of China or other agencies within the government.

Major exchanges in China, including Huobi, BTCC and OKCoin, still continue operating, while others are exiting the market citing the regulatory concerns.

Image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.