China Sees Exodus of Cryptocurrency Exchanges as 2021 Draws to a Close

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At least 15 cryptocurrency exchanges have announced their complete withdrawal from the mainland Chinese market amidst an intensifying crackdown on virtual currency trading that first kicked off several years ago.

These 15 cryptocurrency exchanges include Bi’an (币安), Bitget, Kucoin, MEXC, Pioniex, and Huobi Global (货币全球), all of whom have announced that they will withdraw services for mainland Chinese clients this month.

Over the past several months other platforms including BitMart, Bione, Biki, AEC, Hbtc, Coinex and CoinBene withdrew from the mainland Chinese market, in response to the launch of tighter regulation by authorities.

On 24 September the Chinese central bank led the issuance of the “Notice on Further Prevention and Disposal of Cryptocurrency Transaction Speculative Risk” (关于进一步防范和处置虚拟货币交易炒作风险的通知), which reiterated the official position that cryptocurrency activities were “categorised as illegal financial activity,” and that the provision of related services by cryptocurrency exchanges via the Internet to Chinese citizens is illegal.

China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies first commenced in earnest on 4 September 2017, when the Chinese central bank issued the “Public Notice Concerning the Prevention of Token Issuance Financial Risk” (关于防范代币发行融资风险的公告), which required that cryptocurrency exchanges shut down services in mainland China.

The move prompted many domestic exchanges to relocate abroad, yet continue to provide services to clients situated within mainland China.

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