After months of struggle, China's NiuBTC cryptocurrency exchange closes

Home » After months of struggle, China's NiuBTC cryptocurrency exchange closes
NiuBTC logo.

NiuBTC logo.

The People’s Bank of China’s “bitcoin ban” has finally claimed another victim: cryptocurrency exchange NiuBTC. Back in March, the PBoC began quietly pressuring the country’s banks to close the accounts of digital currency-related businesses in an effort to curb rampant bitcoin and litecoin speculation. The result was a wave of bitcoin and alt-coin exchange closures, and a chilling effect for the entire digital currency industry in China. While the “big three” exchanges of Huobi, BTC China and OKCoin have survived thanks in part to financial connections outside of the mainland, the remaining smaller exchanges have struggled tremendously.

NiuBTC was never a high-volume exchange, and many casual followers of the Chinese bitcoin market could be forgiven for being unaware that it was still open. In a press release about the closure, NiuBTC administrators noted that the exchange has been “struggling” for the last 9 months, suggesting troubles dating back to the initial Chinese cryptocurrency crash of late 2013. The announcement stopped short of formally declaring the closure of the exchange, saying only that “normal operations will be basically suspended.”

The exchange’s website, NiuBTC.com, will remain online, and site administrators said it may be “restarted” at a later point if conditions change. The exchange will also continue to process withdrawals, although administrators noted that the service “may not be very timely,” mostly likely due to the slow, voucher-based system Chinese exchanges currently use to work around restrictions in the banking system.

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