The option of Mainland China in the country/region selection on crypto exchange Huobi’s new user registration page has disappeared following China’s announcement of tougher measure on crypto trading on Friday.
The information, first reported by Chinese crypto influencer Colin Wu, was verified by multiple people in mainland China and CoinDesk. Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, however, remains as as option, as does Taiwan, which China disputedly claims dominion over.
A representative from Huobi said they “have no comment” on the subject when CoinDesk reached out.
“The regulatory pressure in China this time may be very high,” Wu said on Twitter. “The exchange began to react.”
Just a day ago, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) published a notice containing vastly stricter restrictions on crypto trading, so strict that they would effectively ban it, if enforced rigorously. According to the notice, which was co-signed by ten agencies, anyone facilitating trades is subject to legal prosecution, including those individuals who live inside China but work for off-shore crypto exchanges that provide service to China.
Huobi is one of the most popular crypto exchanges among Chinese crypto users. The other two major exchanges used by Chinese are Binance and OKEx. Neither Binance nor OKEx require new users to specifically disclose their country/region on the initial registration page.
The Sept. 24 notice also bans banks and other financial institutions from offering services related to crypto, including transactions of fiat to crypto currencies, or from one crypto to another. The measure likely will target over-the-counter (OTC) services that allows Chinese to exchange their fiat Chinese yuan (CNY) into crypto assets in order to participate in crypto trading.
By press time, OTC service to exchange CNY for dollar-linked stablecoin tether is still available on Huobi. However, the prices quoted in Chinese yuan on tether by OTC traders on Huobi’s peer-to-peer (P2P) market has dropped as low as 6.26 yuan.
Under normal market conditions, the price of tether expressed in Chinese yuan should match that of the U.S. dollar’s exchange rate with the Asian currency. However, the exchange rate of US dollar to CNY is at around 6.46 yuan, at the time of writing.
A discount of the price for the USDT/CNY suggests selling pressure on the stablecoin tether, a form of cryptocurrency used to convert fiat to crypto and back again that is popular amongst Chinese, has intensified.