BTC China, a local Bitcoin exchange service, has stopped accepting RMB deposits to user accounts from a major bank.
This means that deposits coming from the China Merchants Bank have been halted following a post made by the bank on its website regarding a ban imposed on Bitcoin-related transactions for its customers. This means that businesses desiring to continue using Bitcoin must either close down their accounts and find another bank or comply with the new rules.
While the deposits have been suspended, withdrawals are still open to all accounts, so people can handle their Bitcoins as they see fit. Transactions with other banks are also in perfect working order and should remain so unless others choose the same path as China Merchants Bank.
“Due to a notice issued by China Merchants Bank, BTC China has decided to suspend the credit of accounts with RMB while considering user security and stabilization operations,” BTC China wrote on Weibo. Following updates should be posted on Twitter and the company’s website.
The move has had quite an impact on the world’s Bitcoin transactions. In the past few months, especially following the bankruptcy news of Mt. Gox, Bitcoin prices have taken quite a hit, dropping to nearly half in some days.
Following the revelations coming from BTC China, Bitcoins have slipped once more, losing about ten percent of their value, down towards $400 per coin. The impact is nowhere near as severe as the one from late February – early March, since the move only affects a limited number of people.
The decisions taken in China do point to a rather alarming trend regarding Bitcoins as more and more countries try to ban trading of the cryptocurrency. At the same time, this may be the first of many similar measures taken by local banks in China and a complete Bitcoin blackout in this nation could lead to severe consequences for the future of the digital currency.
The Chinese Central Bank barred financial institutions from handling Bitcoin transactions and moved to regulate the virtual currency.
The People’s Bank of China has also said that financial institutions and payment companies cannot give pricing in Bitcoin, buy or sell the currency or insure Bitcoin-linked products. In Hong Kong, however, virtual currencies have been dubbed “virtual commodities.” The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has promised not to regulate Bitcoins.