A fresh story is currently making the rounds alleging that Chinese authorities recently conducted a raid on Binance’s Shanghai offices. Furthermore, they are said to have subsequently shut down the offices of the prominent crypto exchange. This has, in turn, led to a substantial drop in the cryptocurrency markets.
Chinese authorities raid and shut down Binance’s Shanghai HQ
This news report comes from The Block, which cites anonymous “local sources”. According to this report, local police forces have gone on to shut down the Binance offices in Shanghai. However, this came only after police had first raided the premises.
As cryptocurrency observers will likely know, Binance is one of the most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. As such, this news is particularly notable, seeing as its Shanghai offices house between 50 – 100 employees.
Furthermore, this action is said to come as part of a wider crackdown on cryptocurrencies currently taking place in the nation. In fact, Chinese financial authorities recently went on to issue a notice to the wider public concerning virtual asset trading.
Specifically, this notice encourages individuals to report any businesses that trade virtual business to the People’s Bank of China’s Shanghai headquarters. To be precise, the operations that they want individuals to be reporting include the following:
“Virtual currency transactions in the territory; the other is to issue ‘xx coins’ and ‘xx’ in the form of ‘blockchain application scenarios.’ Currency, fundraising or bitcoin, virtual currency such as Ethereum; third, providing services such as publicity, diversion, agency trading, etc. for registered ICO projects, virtual currency trading platforms, etc.”
Is this raid part of a national strategy?
With that said, however, Binance previously said that the organization had not been sent the notice in question. This sentiment was also held by the Beijing cryptocurrency firm Huobi. Consequently, it appears as if Chinese cryptocurrency firms have not had full access to this information.
On a similar note, it would appear that these ongoing Chinese actions are nationwide. For example, Shenzhen – sometimes known as China’s “technology capital” – recently sent a warning against illegal crypto activities.
According to a report by the local finance news outlet Eastmoney, Shenzhen is now doubling down on cryptocurrency investigations. Specifically, Shenzhen’s “Leading Group for Remediation of Internet Finance Risk” will be in charge of the investigations in the area.
These actions are somewhat surprising, seeing as China has recently taken a more positive stance towards blockchain. For example, a prominent Chinese news outlet recently said that “Bitcoin is blockchain’s first success”, indicating that the government was warming to it.
The cryptocurrency markets have, predictably, seen some tremors following these news. For example, Bitcoin has fallen by around 7%, and is currently trading at $7,588. Moreover, the wider cryptocurrency market is also seeing mainly red following this news.
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.