China's largest bitcoin exchanges, such as OkCoin and Huobi platforms, are awaiting government clarification following media reports that Beijing is planning to ban trading of virtual currencies on domestic exchanges.
Regulators in Shanghai, the country's financial center, gave verbal instructions to exchange operators to shut down, China Business News and 21st Century Economic Report said on their websites.
The global value of bitcoin has plunged in recent days amid speculation that the Chinese authorities will shut down the trading platforms following last week's ban on initial coin offerings.
BTCChina, one of the leading Bitcoin exchanges in China, is permanently shutting down, the company announced on Twitter.
It's been a rough couple of weeks for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
On Tuesday, the Financial Conduct Authority, a United Kingdom watchdog, warned investors about the risk associated with initial coin offerings, the cryptocurrency-based fundraising method.
While this news still doesn't mean that China plans to officially ban all cryptocurrency exchanges in the country-some have speculated that the Chinese authorities would merely tighten the regulation of crypto exchanges-it's a very good indication that something of the sort may happen.
Additionally, earlier this week, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said it was a "fraud" that would eventually blow up.
NIFA warned that cryptocurrencies are "prone to intense market speculation" and "highly volatile" and advised potential investors to "enhance their awareness of risks". However, its still up almost 300% this year.
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