Bitcoin exchanges Binance and Huobi have stopped registering new users in mainland China following a new wave of crackdown on cryptocurrencies by the country's government, Bloomberg reports.
The companies have banned customers from using Chinese phone numbers to register new accounts. Hong Kong residents can still create wallets on both platforms, according to the agency.
Speaking to Bloomberg, a Binance spokesman noted that the company does not conduct operations in China and blocks the IP addresses in question. He did not comment on the ban on local phone numbers.
"Binance takes its compliance obligations extremely seriously and is committed to following the regulations of local regulators wherever we operate," he said.
The information was confirmed to Bloomberg by Chinese journalist Colin Wu. He noted that the actions of these major players demonstrate how much pressure cryptocurrency companies are facing in the country.
Wu also drew attention to Whale Alert bot reports that more than 22,000 BTC (~$928 million at the time of writing) were transferred from Huobi addresses. He stressed that if the exchange is trying to cope with an avalanche of withdrawal requests, it must be transfers from cold wallets to hot ones.
According to WhaleAlert, 10,000 BTC were transferred from Huobi. But it should be the transfer of cold wallets to hot wallets to cope with the demand for withdrawals caused by supervision.
On 24 September another crackdown on China's cryptocurrency industry came to light. China's State Development and Reform Committee has pointed to the negative impact of mining on the environment and its "insignificant" contribution to the country's economy.
The People's Bank of China (PBOC) has described as illegal the activities of platforms that exchange digital assets among themselves or for fiat. Prior to this, Wen Xinxiang, director of the NBK's payments and settlement department, called cryptocurrencies and staplecoins a threat to the traditional financial system.
Recall that Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire urged other countries not to follow China's lead in regulating cryptocurrencies.
A similar point of view was expressed by Republican Senator Pat Toomey. He said that Beijing's actions were an opportunity for the United States in the digital asset industry.