Bitcoin is plummeting in value as exchanges based in China begin their forced shutdown following changes to regulations introduced by the Chinese government.
One of the oldest and biggest, BTC China, confirmed on Thursday that it will shut down on September 30th. It has immediately stopped accepting new accounts and will spend the next two weeks preparing to close completely.
1/ After carefully considering the announcement published by Chinese regulators on 09/04, BTCChina Exchange will stop all trading on 09/30.— BTCC (@YourBTCC) September 14, 2017
The news has caused the value of Bitcoin to plunge by more than one-third, falling from $3,860 to $2,457 as the news broke.
Anyone with $1m in bitcoin would have lost more than $363,000 (or £272,000) overnight. Something tells us that the Chinese government is going to find itself on the receiving end of a law suit.
At the time of writing it had started to recover, but only slightly, and is expected to drop further as it becomes clear that this is not a drill, and the Chinese authorities will not allow Bitcoin exchanges to continue operating with a wink and a nod.
China began investigating the whole cyber-currency quagmire in January, after claiming that it was being used for money laundering, and market manipulation, among other things.
China has been cracking down on some of the workarounds for its strict online rules. Virtual private networks (VPNs) will be completely blocked from February 2018, Real names must be used online and now the closure of Bitcoin minting plants in the country has been classed as "certain".
Bitcoin has had a lot of ups and downs in its short life, and after rising 300 per cent this year, as it became an increasingly appealing proposition following various world events, it looks set to come crashing down as one of the world's biggest economies outlaws it.
Other Bitcoin exchanges, such as Huobi, are yet to make a decision on their futures, but the rumour mill suggests that officials have already told them in no uncertain terms that they will have to close.
On the plus side, with the Bitcoin bull market being thrown into reverse, the price of graphics cards should descend to normality.
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