The price of Bitcoin has been steadily climbing upwards in the past two days as the April 15 deadline for Chinese-based lenders and payment companies to close the trading accounts of more than 10 domestic Bitcoin exchange platforms, has come and went.
2014-04-16 03:52 AM
“Central Bank always said BTC Exchanges Are Legitimate and Legal” - BTC China CEO, Bobby Lee
Seeing through the smoke
First, not every exchange has received a notice about the closing of their accounts. Second, Bobby Lee, CEO of BTC China, has clarified that it’s “business as usual” and that nothing has changed despite rumors, which he dubbed as fake.
In a cnbc report, Bobby Lee confirmed that the rumors were in fact just that:
“As far as BTC China is concerned, over the last few weeks we have not received any notices from any banks nor the Central Bank about any of these new regulations. So the rumors mentioned April 15, and the day has come and we have not received any calls or seen any changes in regulation.”
BTC exchanges are legal
In the interview, Bobby Lee also asserted the position of BTC China on the issue of potential government regulation.
“We have always expressed in the media and in conversation with banks and the central bank that we are pro-government to regulate the Bitcoin exchange industry,” explained Lee, in order for “business to thrive” in China.
“As far as we know the Central bank has always said that Bitcoin exchanges are legitimate and legal,” said Lee, citing fake rumors as being the reasons for the recent price fluctuations and knee-jerk reactions by the market to any word from China.
After the collapse of the Japanese Mt. Gox, China-based cryptocurrency exchanges such as BTC China and OKCoin now process the most virtual currency transactions by volume. Hence, any hearsay of a looming crackdown by the government has been seen as a major hurdle to Bitcoin’s growth.
Facts over rumors
The BTC China CEO also clarified that regulation the reality is that regulation has not got tighter, “if you actually look at the facts” without paying attention to the rumors, a large portion of which he attributed to deliberate fabrications to goad the market and manipulate the price.
He went on to reiterate that only one single piece of regulation has ever come from Chinese authorities. This was back on December 5, 2013, when the PBOC issued guidance for BTC exchanges. This guidance required exchanges to register with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technologies, which essentially has been interpreted by many that they are recognizes as a legitimate business by authorities.
No additional regulation or addendum followed.
Regulators be damned
Moreover, Lee stated that his company is continuing to grow and move forward with the recent launch of their new web app, Picasso ATM, which is a “softer” app that will allow people buy and sell Bitcoins in peer-to-peer fashion while offline without the need to pass funds through an exchange.
“As a company, we’re growing, were going to continue to offer more services to allow people to buy and sell, transact Bitcoins regardless of how the regulation plays out in the next few months and years,” said Lee.
Michael Yeung: “Yes, exchanges should be regulated. But governments shouldn't wait years to regulate. They should figure out what the rules are and regulate as soon as possible. Otherwise we'll be stuck in this limbo of entrepreneurs not knowing what to do, doing it, then later being shut down precisely because the rules were not clear or didn't exist from the start. This [regulation] makes the rules clear and reasonable. I think that's what businesses want.”