OKCoin halted btc transfer from domestic account to international account
According to an 8btc forum post today, a previous rumour turns out to be true that OKCoin have suspended transfer of bitcoin from its domestic site to international site, where bitcoin futures trade is hosted.
The OP said that:
(We are) informed today and the news had been circulated yesterday on a small scale.
The news was later confirmed by a screenshot citing chats with customer service of OKCoin.
“We are sorry. At present users are not allowed to withdraw BTC from domestic site to international site. But users are able to transfer BTC from international site to domestic site.”
Screenshot of chatting with OKCoin customer service
OKCoin exchange host bitcoin transaction on two different sites. OKCoin.cn is domestic site for Chinese mainland users while the dot-com site offers USD-denominated trade and btc/ltc futures, one of the key business of OKCoin. For a typical Chinese bitcoin speculator, he would deposit CNY into the domestic site to buy bitcoin, which needs to transferred to his account in the international site if he wants to join in the futures trading game. It’s a common practice for exchanges to isolate accounts for different trades. For example, USA-based exchange Poloniex offers exchange/margin trading/lending accounts for customers. Users need to manually transfer balance to each account before embarking on specific trades.
According to an OKCoin user, the internal transfer of OKCoin used to be bilateral and instant even after the site inspection of PBOC. The new adjustment actually turn off liquidity of futures contract. He also sent us a screenshot of his domestic account, prompt says “internal transfer is restricted” when he attempted to transfer btc to the dotcom account.
Screenshot of OKCoin domestic account
Is it a sign of winding down bitcoin futures trade in China?
On 9th Feb, PBOC host closed-door meeting with 9 Beijing-based exchanges , then the “big three” bitcoin exchanges announced halting of bitcoin withdrawal for one month. BTCC further specified the date would be 15th March. Later, the exchanges released a statement of 10 self-regulation rules, which didn’t received much feedback as traders quickly turned to OTC channels.
As BTC inches back to its ATH, it’s uncertain when the “big three” exchanges will allow BTC withdrawal. But some smaller exchanges are processing BTC withdrawal, a clear indicator of which is the price premium. The higher price usually means faster withdrawal.