Thoughts On China’s “Ban” On Bitcoin

Last week Caixin posted an article claiming that the PBOC was not satisfied with how banks and third-party payment processors were interpreting it’s ban on financial institutions processing payments related to Bitcoin based businesses. Subsequently a few exchanges announced that their bank accounts at certain onshore Chinese banks were shut. The Bitcoin price fell around 12% after the announcement and then further to around $425 on Bitstamp. The price on the leading Chinese exchanges traded at around a 3-5% discount to Bitstamp.

Fast-forward to today on the eve of the Labour Day weekend holiday and the Bitcoin price has recovered around $25 to $450 and the Chinese exchanges are trading slightly more expensive than Bitstamp. Even after all of this noise from the PBOC you can still fund  your Bitcoin account with CNY at certain exchanges using Bank of China. How this is possible when the PBOC has repeatedly said that financial institutions cannot process Bitcoin based payments is very puzzling.

The Caixin article postulates that the new “deadline” for compliance is May 10th. We at BitMEX are in the business of facilitating betting men and women. If we were in your shoes, we would be opening accounts at the leading Chinese Bitcoin exchanges such as OKCoin and BTCChina and buying coins on Bitstamp transferring them to a Chinese exchange and selling Bitcoin for CNY. A four day bank holiday is the perfect time to force compliance with the central bank’s directive. When the dust settles and all the banks and payment processors are in compliance we expect the Bitcoin price to fall to the recent lows of $360 and BTCCNY to be at a 5%-10% discount to BTCUSD. Then buy your coins back at a discount, transfer to an exchange where you can withdraw USD and collect a nice profit.

Good luck, and happy trading!