The People’s Bank of China deputy governor Pan Gongsheng told a recent conference that 'virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.' Photo: iStock

Top Chinese Bitcoin exchange BTCC announced Thursday they will suspend trading by the end of the month, after “careful consideration” of an announcement published by regulators earlier this month.

The move comes after reports late last week that authorities were ordering all Chinese exchanges to suspend trading, sending the cryptocurrency into a slide. Yuan-denominated Bitcoin plummeted again this week after the BTCC decision by as much as 35%.

TechCrunch is reporting, citing confirmation from two sources, that authorities have visited a number of top exchanges to instruct that they cease trading, but that a hard deadline has not been given.