Bitcoin’s Price Plunges Back Below Gold Amid China Regulatory Concerns

From Tyler Durden: Having rebounded rapidly from the ETF-decision disappointment, Bitcoin suffered another major setback overnight as Chinese regulators are circulating new guidelines that, if enacted, would require exchanges to verify the identity of clients and adhere to banking regulations.

A New York startup called Chainalysis estimated that roughly $2 billion of bitcoin moved out of China in 2016.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, the move to regulate bitcoin exchanges brings assurance that Chinese authorities will tolerate some level of trading, after months of uncertainty. A draft of the guidelines also indicates they aim to bring practices in line with how bitcoin is traded in other markets. The draft states that Chinese bitcoin exchanges would be subject to current banking and anti-money-laundering laws and be required to collect information to identify customers, according to people familiar with the matter. They say the draft, if implemented, would require exchanges to install systems for collecting and reporting suspicious trading activity to authorities; China’s central bank would be in charge of handling violations by the exchanges. The people said officials could still revise the guidelines, which were passed to exchanges in recent days.

Chinese investors have fled the market since authorities started scrutinizing bitcoin trading in the country, prompting exchanges to install trading fees and, in some cases, to suspend withdrawal of bitcoin from their platforms.

The central bank opened up investigations in January at the country’s three largest bitcoin exchanges, Huobi, OkCoin and BTCC, and delivered a terse warning last month that bitcoin platforms risk being shut down if they skirt rules on money laundering and foreign exchange.

In the past 30 days, yuan-denominated bitcoin trades accounted for 17% of global volumes, down from 97% in the past six months, according to data tracker Bitcoinity.

The SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE:GLD) closed at $116.99 on Friday, up $0.26 (+0.22%). Year-to-date, GLD has gained 6.73%, versus a 6.04% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

GLD currently has an ETF Daily News SMART Grade of B (Buy), and is ranked #2 of 33 ETFs in the Precious Metals ETFs category.


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