It was only a matter of time until a new bitcoin announcement would come out of China. In a surprising turn of events, the news does not originate from the PBOC itself, but rather from the HaoBTC platform. According to Chinese sources, the company will halt their bitcoin exchange service very soon. HaoBTC is not exiting bitcoin entirely, though, as they still offer a mining pool and online wallet services, which will continue their operations for now.
HaoBTC Will Halt Exchange Services Soon
The recent string of new requirements by the PBOC has made life a bit more difficult for Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges. Some services even started delaying bitcoin withdrawals by several days, as they are working on implementing new anti-money laundering requirements. HaoBTC was one of the few exchanges seemingly unaffected by the announcement, even though they made some significant changes as well.
Just last week, the company announced they would introduce new deposit fees for their exchange business. A 5% fee would be charged for all deposits, which is quite steep, to say the least. It appears this was only a sign of what had yet to come as Chinese sources claim HaoBTC will shut down their exchange service very soon. All of their other bitcoin services, including the mining pool and online wallet will continue to operate without delays or issues.
Contrary to what most people may believe, HaoBTC is not a well-known bitcoin exchange in China. Even though the company has been around for several years, they have been unable to compete with the other major bitcoin exchanges in China. Instead, their mining pool and online wallet service have been more popular. It makes sense to focus more on the existing services that do well, rather than stay in the exchange business while a lot of new regulations are introduced.
Over the past few years, the name HaoBTC has rarely come up when people talk about Chinese bitcoin exchanges. It is expected this decision will not affect the company all that much, as they will continue to offer bitcoin services of a different kind. It is good to see HaoBTC not ditch bitcoin entirely, indicating the company feels there is a bright future ahead for the popular cryptocurrency.
It is evident HaoBTC is perhaps the first of multiple bitcoin exchanges in China to rethink their business model. It has become difficult to compete against other existing services such as BTCC, Huobi, and OKCoin. Those three platforms represented the majority of centralized bitcoin trading volume for years, even though they see far less volume ever since the PBOC intervened recently. It remains to be seen if other smaller exchanges will follow HaoBTC’s example or not.
As we mentioned earlier, Chinese bitcoin traders have found a new home to trade cryptocurrency without too many repercussions. LocalBitcoins is seeing an influx of trading right now, while the trading volume across centralized exchanges continues to go down. It will be intriguing to see how the bitcoin situation in China evolves. Peer-to-peer and decentralized trading platforms can go a long way in the country, that much is certain.