We could be seeing the end of the era of extreme Chinese Bitcoin trading volumes unfolding in front of our eyes as the major venues in the country are curbing the features that made it so popular. After years of operating on a zero fee model, major Bitcoin exchanges BTCC, Huobi and OKCoin have now notified Chinese clients of a new 0.2% transaction fee.
The new fee will come into effect tomorrow and it follows the move from earlier this month when the Chinese exchanges suddenly stopped offering leveraged trading on margin. Surprisingly, the BTC/USD exchange rate has remained stable in face of the news with the price of Bitcoin now at about $920.
At the beginning of the year the Chinese central bank revealed that the authorities are conducting an inspection of Bitcoin exchanges in China. It is focused on whether they went beyond the authorised scope of the market, whether or not they have a license to carry out credit, payment, exchange and other related business, as well as whether there is any market manipulation, anti-money laundering (AML) system implementation, financial security risks and so on.
This latest move confirms what Bobby Lee, the CEO of BTCC, told FortuneZ at the time – halting leveraged trading was just one of many more possible tweaks to the service to come, as the exchanges are trying to adapt to the demands of the regulators, while nothing official has been decided yet.