Localbitcoins’ New Chinese Popularity Sparks Fears of PBoC Action
LocalBitcoins may come under scrutiny from the People’s Bank of China, users fear after the marketplace became Chinese investors’ new trading hub and set record trading highs last week.
Concerns are growing that the People’s Bank of China, hereinafter PBoC, may seek to curb LocalBitcoins use after the platform became the go-to replacement for the country’s Bitcoin traders.
When major Chinese exchanges halted Bitcoin withdrawals due to regulatory concerns, investors moved en masse to the peer-to-peer marketplace, causing record trading volumes the week ending Feb. 11.
Now, LocalBitcoins staff have taken to Reddit to curb fears that the site may become the PBoC’s next target. Adding to the unease is a decision by fellow marketplace BitKan to abide by the bank’s mandates.
“We're based in Finland, generally speaking when a country or state increases Bitcoin regulation it hits our traders and not us directly. Each trader on our site needs to comply with their local legislation,” a representative wrote.
“Keep in mind that our business model is quite far from a traditional exchange, we are a platform where users can set up their own exchange businesses.”
The last week has been especially successful for LocalBitcoins, with China just one market setting new highs. Canada, Turkey, Venezuela and New Zealand all saw major upticks, the latter likely due to one of its flagship exchanges shutting down due to its “hostile” bank.