PBoC Regulators to Consider Licensing Bitcoin Exchanges at the National Level; Bitcoin Price Rallies Back to $1268

Bitcoin briefly dipped under $1200 on Tuesday morning after Chinese news outlets reported on new developments regarding PBoC’s stance on cryptocurrency exchanges.

A report by Sina.com quoted Zhou Xuedong, director of the People’s Bank of China Business Administration division, who said “long-term regulatory mechanisms” and licensing requirements need to be explored for all digital currency exchanges at the national level.

According to an English translation of Xuedong’s comments on Twitter, Xuedong also hinted at some kind of “exchange blacklist,” but no further details were given out. Although Xuedong said a “forgiving attitude” will be taken by the PBoC towards the nascent industry, the PBoC director also said exchanged domiciled in China will be kept under “strict supervision” for the time being.

Many of the top Chinese exchanges halted cryptocurrency withdrawals in February to bolster their anti-fraud checks, and to also appease PBoC regulators who were concerned with money-laundering and capital flight via digital currencies.

However, many Chinese investors flocked to alternative trading venues like LocalBitcoins, where Bitcoin trading takes place in a P2P fashion and the terms of each deal (KYC/AML/payment methods) vary from trader to trader.

The latest data shows that Chinese investors on LocalBitcoins bought/sold more than 60 million CNY worth of Bitcoin last week - an all-time high and a 5th consecutive record!

Despite repeated attempts this year by PBoC regulators to clamp down on Bitcoin exchanges domiciled in China, which sent the price of the digital currency lower each time, strong global demand has continued to lift the world’s most popular cryptocurrency to new all-time highs.

On March 3, 2017, the price of Bitcoin hit a record high of $1298!

Today’s news out of China briefly sent Bitcoin’s exchange rate down to 1175.97 at 6:30 a.m. EST, however, by 12:30 p.m., the price was back to $1268:

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