China bitcoin exchanges awaiting clarification on closure report

FILE PHOTO: A Bitcoin (virtual currency) coin is seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, June 23, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Illustration/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Bitcoin exchanges said on Saturday they are still awaiting clarification from the authorities on a media report that they will be shut down.

Bitcoin fell sharply on Friday after Chinese financial publication Caixin reported that China was planning to shut down local crypto-currency exchanges, although analysts said this was just a temporary setback.

The news follows China’s move earlier this week to ban so-called “initial coin offerings,” or the practise of creating and selling digital currencies or tokens to investors in order to finance start-up projects.

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the report.

A spokeswoman for Beijing-based OK Coin said the platform has not received any notification from regulators.

Spokespersons at Beijing-based Huobi and Shanghai-based BTCC said they were still waiting for further official clarification.

Reporting by Brenda Goh, Writing by Kevin Yao; Editing by Shri Navaratnam