Chinese bitcoin exchanges have reportedly resumed bitcoin withdrawals. Customers of BTCC and Okcoin can now withdraw their coins up to certain daily limits. Huobi is also expected to follow suit shortly.
Bitcoin Withdrawals Resumed
Following the inspections by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), BTCC, Huobi, and Okcoin halted coin withdrawals in February. Almost four months later, on Wednesday May 31, at least two of them reportedly lifted their cryptocurrency withdrawal suspensions.
According to Twitter user Cnledger, BTCC’s customer service confirmed that they have resumed coin withdrawals on Wednesday. A Reddit user who claimed to have initiated a withdrawal request at the exchange said that the daily limit was 20 BTC for his account type and that his request was approved within 20 minutes.
Okcoin has also lifted its withdrawal suspension subject to certain limits, 8btc reported on Thursday. “The 24-hour withdrawal limit of the International site and OKEX is: 200 BTC, 500 LTC and 1,000 ETH,” the publication quoted the exchange’s website. “As for the Chinese site, the limit is 20 BTC (10 of which could be withdrawn to external addresses), 400 LTC (200 of which could be withdrawn to external addresses) and 1,000 ETH.” However, the exchange’s customer service told the publication:
The withdrawal feature is being tested at the moment.
At press time, Huobi has not yet announced that bitcoin withdrawals have resumed.
Bitcoin Prices and Trading Volumes Responded
The results of the withdrawals resuming were quickly realized at global exchanges on Wednesday. While the price of a bitcoin rose sharply worldwide, they were more bullish on BTCC and Okcoin, typically trading 10 percent higher than other exchanges.
For instance, while Bitflyer, Bitstamp, and Bitfinex had 5%, 7%, and 9% positive gains respectively on Wednesday evening, Okcoin and BTCC had a 19% and a 15% 24-hour growth. The price of litecoin on Chinese exchanges also experienced the same effect.
Global trading volumes also picked up substantially after the news spread, with BTCC and Okcoin showing higher volumes than elsewhere for the rest of the day.
News of the withdrawals resuming came shortly after the three exchanges announced that they were adding either ETH or ETC trading to their platforms. Huobi began ETH trading on May 30 while Okcoin is starting on June 1. BTCC CEO Bobby Lee also announced a couple of days prior that his exchange will list ETC after conducting a series of Twitter polls.
The Long Wait is Over but PBOC Denies Being Responsible
The PBOC’s inspections of Chinese bitcoin exchanges started in January. Then in February, all three major exchanges announced that they were halting bitcoin and litecoin withdrawals, but CNY withdrawals were not affected.
A post on Huobi’s blog cites the need for a system upgrade to comply with new anti-money laundering requirements as well as foreign exchange and other financial regulations.
Although the exchanges never stated whether they were ordered by the authorities to suspend withdrawals, a leaked document reported by 8btc in April suggests that the suspension was a direct order from one of the authorities.
However, 8btc reported new findings last week that “the suspension of BTC withdrawal was not a direct order from the authority,” according to a recent letter from the PBOC. This letter was supposedly in reply to an inquiry about whether the central bank was responsible for bitcoin exchanges halting withdrawals. Cnledger also tweeted about this letter last week:
PBOC reply to BTC user: we did not ask trading platforms to suspend withdrawals. It was a decision made by themselves. The inspection has not ended.
Earlier this month, Bitcoin.com reported on the Chinese regulators preparing to issue regulatory guidelines for bitcoin trading platforms in China. The document is expected to be released sometime in June.