- Reuters/Bobby Yip
Bitcoin is little changed at $924 a coin as of 7:26 a.m. ET.
Monday’s flat session comes despite some big news out of China. According to Reuters, the country’s three largest bitcoin exchanges announced plans to begin charging a flat fee of 0.2% for each transaction. Releases from BTCC, Huobi, and OkCoin reportedly said the fees were being implemented to “further curb market manipulation and extreme volatility.”
Bitcoin has had a wild start to 2017. The cryptocurrency rallied by more than 20% in the opening days of 2017 amid huge interest from China, which accounts for nearly 100% of trading. In fact, data from Cryptocompare found, “In the first 24 hours of the new year, over 5 million bitcoins were bought in Chinese yuan, equating to $3.8 billion. In contrast, just 53,000 bitcoins were bought in US dollars.”
The early gains vanished in a matter of days, however, as bitcoin tumbled 35% on concerns that China was going to crack down on trading, with Beijing having announced it had begun investigating bitcoin exchanges in Beijing and Shanghai on suspicion of market manipulation, money laundering, unauthorized financing, and other issues.
But bitcoin has managed to work its way off support in the $750 area, and it is trying to break out of resistance in the $880/$920 area that has defined trade for the past week.
Monday’s announcement could reduce some of the market volatility, as bitcoin traders in China won’t be allowed to buy and sell without paying the new transaction fee.