For the first time in a while, the bitcoin price is no longer dominated by the Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges. Whether or not this is a positive development remains to be seen. Then again, changes to the bitcoin ecosystem can be quite positive. Less reliance on China means there will be slightly more decentralization moving forward. Right now, Bitstamp is the platform with the highest bitcoin price, whereas the first Chinese exchanges ranks in the fifth spot.
For as long as most people can remember, China has always determined the current bitcoin price. Although this has always been some of an issue, very few people seemed to mind it in the first place. Now that the PBOC has introduced several new requirements, the true power of the bitcoin market is coming into focus. As it turns out, demand for bitcoin in China is much lower than anticipated, albeit that may have to do with the AML changes.
With nearly every major bitcoin exchange delaying bitcoin withdrawals, the demand to buy cryptocurrency wanes as well. OKCoin and Huobi postpone withdrawals for 30 days, whereas BTCC implemented a 10-day delay. HaoBTC is the only platform not suffering from such extensive delays, yet they will charge a 5% fee on deposits moving forward. All of this raises the question as to how much of China’s bitcoin volume is fake to begin with.
Bitcoin Price No Longer Hinges on China’s Volume
It is good to see international exchanges determine the market price for a change. Bitstamp has the highest price right now, with 8,900 BTC volume over the past 24 hours. Bitfinex has nearly twice the volume, yet shows a price that is nearly US$11 lower. The first Chinese bitcoin exchange on the list is OKCoin, albeit they show bitcoin at the value of US$992.91. Moreover, their volume dropped to barely 2,300 BTC, which was to be expected.
All other Chinese bitcoin exchanges see some changes in their trading volumes as well. Huobi has dropped to 8.300 BTC, whereas BTCC is just below the 10,000 mark. OKCoin China remains the largest bitcoin exchange in the country, albeit they are 200 BTC behind Bitfinex on a global scale. All things considered, these are quite intriguing developments, which can only mean positive changes for bitcoin as a whole. It remains to be seen if this situation will change in the coming weeks, though.
One question no one can answer right now is what will happen with Chinese traders. Considering their quickest option to withdraw BTC funds is 48 hours or more, it is not unlikely trading volume across all exchanges will drop off very soon. Paying trading fees and having to wait days before one can withdraw a bitcoin balance doesn’t look all that appealing. Then again, this will remove speculators from the bitcoin ecosystem, which will only lead to more stability and price growth.
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