China says warned bitcoin exchanges of closure risk on rule violations

SHANGHAI, Feb 9 (Reuters) - China’s central bank said on Thursday it met with nine smaller local bitcoin exchanges to discuss risks and problems in the bitcoin market, and warned them that they risk closure should they seriously violate the country’s regulations.

The People’s Bank of China said in a statement on its website that it had told the exchanges during the Wednesday meeting not to take part in financial activities such as margin lending or allow money laundering.

It said that the meeting came amid ongoing checks into Huobi and OkCoin, two of the country’s largest trading platforms, which began last month. BTC100 and HaoBTC were among the nine exchanges they met, it said.

The price of bitcoin fell from a one-month high on Wednesday after sources at bitcoin exchanges in China said the People’s Bank of China had summoned some smaller exchanges to a closed-door meeting.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Sam Holmes