Tag Archives: china

Bitcoin’s Monthly Recap of May 2015

Welcome to HolyTransaction’s fifth monthly recap for the year 2015. This past month of May has reminded everyone in the Bitcoin world why we are here; during that time, the bitcoin price fell from a high of $231 to a low of $223.51, according to Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp.

Roger Ver and OKCoin Dispute Over Bitcoin.com
Since the news months ago that the highly-visible Bitcoin.com domain would be managed by Chinese Bitcoin exchange OKCoin, things have really changed. In a series of Reddit posts, Roger Ver, OKCoin, and former OKCoin employees aired out all of their dirty laundry. Amid accusations of forged contracts and blatant lies, the spat resulted in a huge blow to the reputation of OKCoin. Bitcoin.com currently redirects to Bitcoin.org, which is maintained by the Bitcoin Foundation.

Bitcoin Exchange BitFinex Hot Wallet Hacked
BitFinex, one of the leading Bitcoin exchanges, has been hacked for just over 1500 BTC earlier in May. According to the exchange, trading was not affected and 99.5% of users’ funds were never accessible to the hacker. The hack, while unfortunate, demonstrates the efficacy of cold and hot wallets, which may have been the downfall of Mt. Gox. Notably, another European Bitcoin exchange, BitStamp, also suffered a hot wallet hack earlier in 2015.

Ross Ulbricht Sentenced to Life In Prison
Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the Deep Web marketplace Silk Road, has been sentenced to life in prison. Many in the community feel that a life sentence is too harsh given the nature of Ulbricht’s crimes. An appeal is planned by Ulbricht’s defense lawyer, Joshua Dratel. Notably, the trial which convicted Ulbricht did not allow the introduction of key evidence that may tell a different story. The sentence was passed by Judge Katherine Forrest, who was appointed to her federal judgeship on the recommendation of Senator Schumner, the first politician to publicly call for the takedown of Silk Road.

North Carolina Passes Bitcoin Bill
The House of Representatives from North Carolina has passed a new bill to modify the Money Transmitters Act. The bill, HB 289, specifically includes and clarifies the state’s stance on virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. The bill was introduced by Republican Representative Stephen M. Ross, who is also a VP at Wells Fargo. The Bitcoin community has been receptive to North Carolina’s clarification, which contrasts with actions from states such as New York. Perianne Boring, the founder of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, commented: “I would be rather straight forward and say that the community favors regulatory clarity over ambiguity that can create ultimately greater exposure for companies, especially those that do not have the legal budgets necessary to evaluate the ambiguities. The legislation represents a lighter touch than the NY DFS proposal by protecting the interest of consumers but  not imposing any additional regulatory burdens or costs on business to business transactions.  It also has avoided some of the pitfalls of existing statutory schemes.  It may not be what a  segment of the community wants – no regulation. But NC is not a no regulation state and this is a useful step forward in making the law work for digital currency companies.”

Ripple Labs Receives $28 Million USD in Funding
Ripple Labs, the company behind the Ripple payment protocol and network, has recently closed a $28 million USD funding round. This round marks their Series A funding and saw many participants from around the world. Ripple has made waves in the digital currency space by sealing deals with several banks around the world. However, Ripple has also faced increasing scrutiny from users wary of centralized control as well as Stellar, an offshoot created by one of Ripple’s original founders which even used some of the same code. Chris Larsen, Ripple Labs’ CEO, commented: “With investors like CME Group and Seagate joining the fold, we’re well positioned to accelerate adoption amongst these key customers.”

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People’s Bank of China doesn’t intend to “suppress or discriminate against Bitcoin”

(BitcoinExaminer) China’s central bank addressed Bitcoin in a press conference
headed by the chief of its financial survey and statistics department.
Sheng Song Cheng transmitted the official stance given by the Chinese
authorities: “we don’t want to suppress or discriminate against Bitcoin, we are simply saying it is not a currency”.
The decision revealed during the
conference held this Wednesday (15) is being welcomed by the Bitcoin
community as a positive development in China’s apparent war against
digital money. The meeting was focused on the country’s 2013 financial
statistics, but Bitcoin popped up as the journalists started asking
questions about it.

“We took a look at Bitcoin and it
doesn’t have the characteristics of a currency. As far as I know, the
vast majority of countries does not recognize Bitcoin as a currency”,
Sheng Song Cheng answered.
Before confirming cryptocurrency’s
status in China as a “virtual good”, he also added that the “People’s
Bank and the relevant departments will continue to focus on Bitcoin and its associated risks,
strengthen the monitoring and analysis and guide the public to
establish a correct concept of money and investment philosophy”.
The authorities’ posture regarding
cryptocurrency falls under Sheng Song Cheng’s public opinion about
Bitcoin. Recently, he wrote an article
saying that “it would be difficult to see how Bitcoin could ever be
considered a currency in the future”. The English edition of the
newspaper Global Times even quoted Sheng as the author of a powerful
sentence: “Bitcoin is merely a utopia for technology supremacists and
absolute liberalists”.
Still, according to the opinion of some
Bitcoiners, this means that China is legitimizing Bitcoin, despite the
country’s successive warnings about the high risks of dealing with
the digital coin. For now, the authorities aren’t banning Bitcoin –
neither do they plan to do it -, only tightening the regulation and keeping an eye on the users and exchanges.
Coincidence or not, the price of Bitcoin in China has registered a slight improvement on BtcChina in the last few hours, surpassing the ¥5,000 mark.

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BTC China in discussion with regulators over Bitcoin recognition

(CoinDesk) The world’s busiest bitcoin exchange, BTC China, has been in talks with regulators to approve bitcoin as an official currency, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
While there have been some ‘lower-level’ discussions, the company has not yet had any success arranging high-level meetings, said BTC China CEO, Bobby Lee.
This isn’t surprising, given the reluctance of governments worldwide to make official statements about the currency’s legal status.

To grant official approval would likely cause a spike in activity, with many fearing activity on such a grand scale could undermine one of government’s key economic powers: overseeing fiat currencies. This hasn’t stopped a recent flurry of interest from high-level government officials, as bitcoin’s value soars too high to ignore. At the time of writing, the bitcoin price on BTC China was 6,267 CNY, or $1,027. Mt. Gox’s price was $1,050, and it was around $990 on the Coindesk BPI. The upper echelons of government feature many opinions on bitcoin, including some that have shifted over the years. Senator Chuck Schumer, who in 2011 described bitcoin as “an online form of money laundering,” and called for a crackdown, recently tweeted that the cryptocurrency had “significant potential”. Deputy governor of China’s People’s Bank, Yi Gang, hinted at a personal (unofficial) approval of bitcoin exchanges and people’s ability to trade in and out of digital currencies, but also said it would be impossible for the central bank to recognise bitcoin “in the near future”.

BTC China has taken Gang’s comments on board, and Lee has continued to hold discussions with local regulators. He has also answered questions about how bitcoin should be regulated, remaining optimistic about the long-term, describing bitcoin’s current status as:

“Not on the black list and not on the white list. It’s in the grey area.”

In the bitcoin universe, anything short of a call for blacklisting can be taken as progress. But while its “grey area” status allows exchanges and payment processors to function reasonably well at the moment, many think some form of recognition and subsequent regulation is necessary for bitcoin to gain widespread acceptance.

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China’s third-largest mobile network now accepts Bitcoin!

(CoinDesk) Consumers in China can now purchase smartphones with bitcoin from a
major carrier, after a local division of China Telecom announced a
promotional offer for new Samsung phones this week.
China Telecom’s subsidiary Jiangsu Telecom, in Jiangsu province on the east coast of the country, posted the offer on its website. Translated details were scarce, but it appears customers have the chance to use bitcoin instead of yuan to pre-order Samsung’s 2014 clamshell form-factor Android phone.

Any business newly accepting bitcoin, even in a small way, is
guaranteed to gain disproportionate attention in these times. So on the
surface, many recent stories of bitcoin acceptance from China seem more
promotional than revolutionary. Indeed, this is a limited offer for one
model phone from a local provider and not a major announcement of
large-scale bitcoin adoption.
However, it’s also a sign large state owned enterprises in China, or at least
certain divisions of them, are more open to experimentation with bitcoin
than their overseas counterparts.As of this month, most bitcoin
acceptance in other parts of the world remains limited to owner-operated
small businesses and startups. A division of Chinese internet search
giant Baidu also announced recently it would accept bitcoin as payment.
Telecom’s offer also strikes a more positive note than previous reports
from China earlier in 2013, which suggested China Telecom was trying to block
bitcoin-related traffic from its services. China Telecom is China’s
largest fixed-line provider and its third-largest mobile carrier.
bitcoin can be used as a promotional tool to attract younger and more
technology-aware consumers, it also indicates the Chinese market itself
is more ready for alternate forms of payment.

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BTC China to become the world’s No. 1 Bitcoin exchange!

(CoinDesk) BTC China has become the world’s biggest digital currency exchange having handled a greater volume of bitcoins in the past week than Mt. Gox and Bitstamp.
More than 109,841 bitcoins have been exchanged on the site in the past seven days, compared with 93,372 on Bitstamp and 76,673 on Mt. Gox, according to data from Bitcoinity.org. In the past 24 hours alone, BTC China has processed 36,104 bitcoins, compared with Mt. Gox’s 24,913 and Bitstamp’s 23,214.
Bobby Lee, CEO of BTC China, said: “It’s an honor to see that BTC China has been propelled ahead to number one in the worldwide rankings. The real credit goes to the people in China, for having recognized the importance and value of Bitcoin.”

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