The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is moving to more closely monitor (or otherwise engage) with domestic bitcoin exchange businesses.
Just days after it was revealed the PBoC’s Beijing and Shanghai offices had visited the country’s three largest exchanges by volume, the central bank said today that it is pledging to better engage with BTCC, Huobi and OKCoin through continued on-site inspections or meetings.
Discussed at new meetings, according to releases by its Beijing and Shanghai offices, were topics including compliance (anti-money laundering and foreign exchange management).
“The checks focused on whether the firm was operating out of its business scope, whether it was launching unauthorized financing, payment, forex business or other related businesses, whether it was involved in market manipulation, anti-money laundering or (carried) fund security risks,” a translation provided by Reuters states.
BTCC CEO Bobby Lee confirmed the meeting to CoinDesk, stating that the PBoC requested data on its operations as well as recommendations on how the government might move to regulate bitcoin exchange operations.
However, Lee stressed that the on-site visitations are “very common” for businesses in China and continued to express an optimism about the engagement, which he framed as a long-delayed request from local businesses.
“We’re now working closely with the government about what makes a healthy market,” he said, adding:
“We’ve been trying to get their attention years.”
Assessing the impact
Yet, the exchange also moved formally to stem the reaction to the news.
BTCC sought to discourage the speculation that has sometimes followed the PBoC’s engagement with bitcoin businesses.
“We urge our customers to take a rational and cautious view to news articles which speculate on the visit and discussions,” the exchange said.
Elsewhere, it seems the meetings continue to be limited to bitcoin exchange businesses, as companies using the protocol (Circle China) and over-the-counter trading facilities (Richfund) indicated they have not engaged with the PBoC.
Representatives from OKCoin and Huobi could not be reached at press time.
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