Operator of China’s first Bitcoin exchange reportedly exits crypto

BTCChina, the operator of China’s oldest Bitcoin (BTC) exchange, is no longer in the crypto business, according to some reports.

The company sold its stake in the Singapore-registered Bitcoin exchange ZG.com to an unidentified foundation in Dubai, Chinese news agency The 21st Century Business Herald recently reported.

According to the report, ZG.com is a completely independent crypto exchange business with registrations in the United States, Singapore, Estonia, Seychelles and other countries. BTCChina reportedly invested in ZG.com in January 2019.

According to a report by the South China Morning Post, BTCChina said that it was exiting the Bitcoin business “in response to the Chinese government’s policy,” alluding to the major crackdown on crypto mining activity and related activities in the country.

Founded back in 2011 by Huang Xiaoyu and Yang Linke, BTCChina was forced to stop trading cryptocurrencies in October 2017 following the Chinese government’s ban on crypto trading. The company then sold its exchange operations to a Hong Kong-based blockchain investment fund. The exchange continued to operate under the name BTCC, except for customers with a Chinese IP address. 

BTCC’s activities after the sale fueled speculation that it was affiliated with BTCChina, and that Yang still controlled the exchange — claims which the company has denied.

BTCC announced last week that the company was not affected by China’s crypto crackdown. “BTCC is not impacted for now because BTCC doesn’t provide trading of cryptocurrencies, but derivatives of cryptocurrencies,” the company said.

Related: China’s crackdown means Bitcoin is working, says crypto miner

ZG.com and BTCC did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s requests for comment.

The Chinese government has been cracking down on crypto in recent months, causing multiple closures of major crypto mining hubs in the country, including provinces like Sichuan, Yunnan, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Qinghai. Also, major Chinese banks like the Agricultural Bank of China confirmed that Chinese authorities have been moving to prohibit any crypto-related transactions on bank accounts in China as well.