The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the country's central bank, held a meeting with nine domestic bitcoin exchanges in the last few days. As a result of this meeting, seven out of the nine exchanges have added a 0.2% transaction fee, which was requested by the PBOC. Three of the exchanges, Huobi, OkCoin, and BTCChina had begun imposing the fees before Chinese New Year which landed on January 28.
The levy is being imposed to deter high volume traders from speculating or taking other risks. In tandem with the introduction of the levy, the PBOC said in a statement that one of its inspection teams gave verbal warnings to company officials from the nine exchanges, telling them to do more to prevent money laundering and margin trading.
The value of the crypto-currency took a nose dive last week when it was reported that the PBOC had had a closed door meeting with some bitcoin exchanges, sparking fear in the famously unstable bitcoin market. In the days since, the price has recovered somewhat but not to previous levels.
Arthur Hayes who runs BitMEX said “Bitcoin is seen as another way to move money out of China. The Chinese government is worried about capital flight.” The move will show whether regulations can effectively manage digital currency markets like bitcoin.