Announced earlier today, Chinese mining company and wallet provider HaoBTC has officially launched a bitcoin exchange.
The company is based in Beijing, and sent out a tweet earlier to kick off their launch. Exchange users can buy and sell bitcoins by funding their accounts with bank transfers in Chinese Yuan (CNY).
The exchange offers basic buy and sell features along with an open orders book and charts. HaoBTC also already has a multisig wallet which is integrated as part of the exchange platform. At this time there doesn’t appear to be any advanced trading features, but since it just launched today it’s possible in the future there will be more features added.
Below is a screen capture of the open order book, where there isn’t much volume on the exchange at this time. HaoBTC does charge a buy and sell bitcoin fee of 0.2%, and also a bitcoin withdrawal fee of 0.0005 BTC per transaction; CNY and BTC deposits are free.
With there being trading fees it may be hard for HaoBTC to compete with other Chinese bitcoin exchanges at the moment, as they often do not have any trading fees which is more appealing to traders. However, this introduces a new realm of issues for exchanges, in particular in China, who have faced backlash from the public in the past because of no trading fees. With zero trading fees, exchanges have been accused of what is called “wash trading.”
Bobby Lee, the CEO of Chinese bitcoin exchange BTCC, said in an interview last year,
“There is a lot of mining that goes on in China. However, I caution you: do not read too much into the high trading volumes. China has decent high volumes but unfortunately two of my competition exchanges – I never like saying this – but they are artificially inflating their volumes through the technique of wash trades.
They use it for bragging purposes. They try to outdo each other. It’s not regulated yet so they don’t get slapped on the wrist for doing that. China does have big trading but we are not talking about orders of magnitude higher. If you were to believe the numbers you would think the world is 95% Chinese.”
Lee said Okcoin and Huobi are known for inflating trading volumes artificially, basically selling from left hand to the right hand. Lee’s exchange BTCC has also been accused of wash trading in the past as well. With the launch of HaoBTC’s exchange, the jury is still out on how well it will be received and used by the Chinese bitcoin community.