Chinese authorities are quietly stepping up a crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges to include “market-making” platforms and similar services, according to anonymous sources cited by Bloomberg in an article Monday, Jan. 15.
As attention focuses on South Korea’s regulatory battle with cryptocurrency trading, Bloomberg reports that across the border, where official crypto-to-fiat exchanges have been banned since September, “exchange-like services” are now also on officials’ radar.
According to anonymous sources, the government now “plans to block domestic access to homegrown and offshore platforms that enable centralized trading” while remaining silent on ”how policy makers define such platforms.”
The move is allegedly in response to an “uptick” in trading activity.
Chinese investors have sought to circumvent September’s exchange ban by resorting to alternative trading environments such as peer-to-peer platforms and over-the-counter deals.
Popular peer-to-peer trading site Localbitcoins saw the impact of the ban in numbers as traders piled in, generating record volumes, which in September hit as high as 115 mln yuan ($17.8 mln) per week.
While the sources told Bloomberg that “small peer-to-peer transactions aren’t being targeted,” it remains to be seen whether the Localbitcoins phenomenon forms part of the investigation spectrum.
Meanwhile, with the worst of the turbulence in Seoul apparently over, Bitcoin prices picked up in Monday’s trading, posting daily gains just over 6% according to averaged exchange data from CoinMarketCap.