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‘China’s Robinhood’ halts CME crypto futures services amid sector clampdown

Chinese stock trading app Futu Niuniu, known as China’s equivalent of commission-free U.S. trading platform Robinhood, has suspended Chicago Mercantile Exchange cryptocurrency futures services and stopped supplying crypto market information.

Fast facts:

  • Futu Niuniu’s parent, Futu Holdings, said it had taken the action in response to a recent clampdown on the crypto sector in China, according to a report by state-controlled International Financial News, a subsidiary of People’s Daily. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and Osprey Bitcoin Trust are still available on the Futu Niuniu app.
  • Futu Holdings disclosed on May 31 that it was applying for licenses to allow Chinese customers to trade digital currencies in Singapore and the U.S., according to a CNBC report.
  • Chinese authorities have taken an increasingly strict approach toward the crypto industry this year. On May 18, the National Internet Finance Association of China, the China Banking Association and the Payment & Clearing Association of China made a joint announcement that their members should stop providing virtual currency-related services. On May 1st, new regulations aimed at preventing illegal fundraising took effect, some of which focused on fundraising in the crypto sector.
  • Authorities in Inner Mongolia, Qinghai and Xinjiang have shut down crypto mining, and a regulator in Yunnan Province has launched a crackdown on illegal mining. The moves have prompted a number of Chinese miners to move their operations overseas.
  • Meanwhile, China is promoting its state-run digital currency, e-CNY. Shanghai and Beijing have held giveaways of almost US$10 million of the digital currency in virtual representations of traditional Chinese red envelopes to test it. China’s central bank has also released details of e-CNY wallets.

   

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