Kvě 29

China’s Biggest Exchanges to Add Ethereum, Other Altcoins as Demand Surges

· May 29, 2017 · 7:00 am

As altcoins continue to gain popularity throughout the world, Bitcoin exchanges in China are also getting in on the action and listing alternative cryptocurrencies.


Huobi to Support Altcoins

As the moratorium on cryptocurrency withdrawals is expected to soon end in China, exchanges in the country seem to be turning their attention to alternative cryptocurrencies. Two days ago, one of the big three exchanges in China, Huobi, announced it will launch Ethereum trading on May 31.

The announcement reads:

We are excited to announce the CNY/ETH will be listed on our exchanges. Trading will start at 12:00 May 31st (GMT +8). ETH deposit and withdrawal is available from now on.

Today, Huobi released a list of altcoins that are to be added in the future according to the rank of the coin in said list. According to Huboi’s underlying model, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple are the highest ranking coins following Bitcoin, followed by Dash, Zcash and Dogecoin.

Online news service cnLedger tweeted:

The list was ranked using a model created by Huobi which factors in the coin’s strategy, marketing, activity, risk and technology to calculate the relevance of the coin.

The list and underlying model can be seen in Huobi’s official announcement.

BTCC to Get In On the Action as Well

Huobi isn’t the only Bitcoin exchange in China that is to list alternative cryptocurrencies.

After a two-week poll, in which over 190k votes by the cryptocurrency community were counted, Ethereum Classic will be listed in the BTCC exchange. Bobby Lee, CEO of BTCC tweeted:

Although the exchanges employed a completely different method in which Huobi used a model to rank cryptocurrencies and BTCC used a community poll, both exchanges are interested in opening the doors for the Chinese community to invest in  alternative cryptocurrencies.

Huobi and BTCC, however, are not the first exchanges in the country to list alternative cryptocurrencies. The China-based Yunbi exchange allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Etherem, Ethereum Classic, Zcash, QTUM, Bitshares, and others. BTC38 also offers a multitude of cryptocurrencies to be bought and sold for CNY. Lastly, CHBTC also lists Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin.

Crypto in Asia

Although less-known exchanges in the country offer altcoin trading, most Chinese users are only familiar with Bitcoin and Litecoin, given that most cryptocurrency investors use one of the big three exchanges in the country, BTCC, OKCoin and Huobi.

China plays a big part in the Bitcoin world, ranking in the top 3 countries by daily trading volume but other countries in the continent are becoming increasingly interested in cryptocurrencies and it’s not just Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Take Japan, for example, where the recent Bitcoin law has created an accentuated demand for cryptocurrencies, making the JPY the biggest Bitcoin pair in the world by trading volume and that’s not all. Other cryptocurrencies are also gaining traction in the country.

Co-Founder of IndieSquare and Community Director at the Counterparty Foundation, stated in a recent blog post:

First, one of the unique characteristics of the Japanese crypto space is that altcoins are very popular as a means of investment and some of them have very strong and dedicated communities; some even more active than the Bitcoin community itself in a way. Among them, two of the most popular altcoins in Japan are XRP(Ripple) and XEM(NEM).

In South Korea, Ethereum and Ethereum Classic are also extremely popular, even more so than Bitcoin whose daily trading volume is smaller than that of ETH or ETC.

With China adhering to the altcoin craze, could Asia become the capital for alternative cryptocurrencies?


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.com, Twitter 

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Úno 03

BTCC CEO: Chinese Bitcoin Capital Flight ‘Simply Not The Case’

· February 3, 2017 · 8:30 am

BTCC exchange CEO Bobby Lee has become the latest Bitcoin figure to refute claims the cryptocurrency is being used for Chinese capital flight.


Lee: Bitcoin Capital Flight ‘Simply Not The Case’

In a post published Wednesday, Lee said that “from everything I’ve seen on the ground here, running one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in China, this is simply not the case.”

His comments follow those made late last year by Bitquoints CEO Joseph Wang, who described Bitcoin as “useless” for moving money out of China.

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“The talking point is that many Chinese people are now using Bitcoin as a means to transfer large amounts of their RMB abroad, into other foreign currencies,” Lee wrote.

Yes, many people have been talking about this idea, to use Bitcoin to circumvent China’s capital controls on the RMB. But that’s just media stories feeding the frenzy!

Raft Of Hurdles Face Would-Be BTC Exports

Lee was likely referring to stories such as that which appeared in Singapore publication Straits Times, which interviewed a Chinese businessman allegedly using Bitcoin for the purposes of circumventing capital controls and the declining yuan.

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He continued that the hurdles facing those who wish to use Bitcoin for such purposes require certain skills. In addition, while Bitcoin’s price has broadly steadied as investors shake off worries about a restrictive move by the People’s Bank of China, exchange rate remains a major sticking point for potential Bitcoin-based RMB transfers.

“The biggest problem today with using Bitcoin to evade Chinese capital controls is that there’s just no good guarantee on the eventual effective exchange rate,” Lee said.

For those who have a lot of RMB to move offshore, advanced guarantee of the exchange rate is very important to them. Otherwise, they will prefer another channel, even if the guaranteed rate of exchange is worse than the official rate.

Bitcoin To Mature With Yuan Internationalization

Speculating about the future status quo, Lee considered that reduced controls on the RMB will coincide with Bitcoin being “mature enough” to handle large-volume transfers without the aforementioned risks.

Until then, the arena of transferring Bitcoins around the world remains an area for the professionals, the players who arbitrage prices between Bitcoin exchanges worldwide,” he concluded.

2017

Bitcoin today meanwhile continues to hover around the $1,000 barrier, with mixed opinions as to whether it will stay there. Analysts variously report shifts in either direction being likely, with the corresponding 7,000 RMB mark in China being equally important psychologically. Chinese trading volumes declined sharply by as much as 92% in January after exchanges imposed trading fees to curb volatility.

Do you agree with Lee that Bitcoin in not a major capital flight tool? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Led 05

A New Bitcoin Bull-Run is Here, Google Trends Show

· January 5, 2017 · 5:00 am

As Bitcoin nears parity with gold, Google trends indicators are showing that this may only be the start of another major run-up in value on the way to higher highs.


Bitcoin Uptick in Global Trends

Bitcoin performed amazingly well throughout 2016, increasing over 120% in value, reaching its all-time high market cap, breaking the $,1000 mark on the first day of 2017.

Although the $1000 surge was expected by many, the continuous rise of Bitcoin continues to amaze the public at large. Driven by political and economic factors throughout the world, global interest in Bitcoin is once again surging in Google search trends:

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China is a well-known driving force in the Bitcoin price, a super-power in both mining and trading of the cryptocurrency. Although interest in Bitcoin was high at the time of the first $1,000 surge in 2013, the Chinese population is becoming more interested in Bitcoin.

Bitcoin’s popularity in China is strongly connected to the devaluation of the Chinese Yuan and the tightening of capital flight restrictions. In fact, both the price of Bitcoin and the devaluation of the CNY seem to be correlated, as noted by J. Scigala of Vaultoro:

As a larger portion of China’s enormous population enters the cryptocurrency scene, Bitcoin may continue to increase in value exponentially.

Regional Interest

While the price phenomenon is largely driven by China, searches for “Bitcoin” are soaring particularly in countries where it is most needed.

It is also becoming increasingly popular especially in Africa. For example, Nigeria and Ghana topped the list of countries most interested in Bitcoin, according to Google Trends. In both countries, the national fiat currency suffers from high inflation rates.

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Elsewhere, inflation and demonetization continue to push citizens towards Bitcoin. This can be noted in both trading volumes and Google trends. In Venezuela, Bitcoin searches have also reached all-time figures, a country where inflation is unmatched and demonetization threatens to worsen the situation.

Searches for “Bitcoin” in the country have been ever-increasing as a result:

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But demonetization has perhaps affected India the worst, with the highest denomination notes being removed much quicker than anyone anticipated. Trading volumes reached all-time high figures in November when the demonetization took effect. Searches for “Bitcoin” have also reached an all-time high, as Indian citizens look for ways to escape the effects of the war on cash.

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Both trading volume and search trends also broke records in Pakistan following the announcement of similar demonetization policies.

As price continues to rise, on more sustainable terms than the first time, and the public begins to notice, these countries may become increasingly interested in Bitcoin. This could mean the start of a new era for Bitcoin, as a five figure Bitcoin becomes more and more realistic.

Mainstream Media Paying Attention

In an interview with CNBC, BTCC CEO Bobby Lee notes the political effects of global demonetization policies. He adds that Bitcoin could be setting up for higher highs saying,

In the past few years what we’ve seen is whenever we’ve hit it all-time high, Bitcoin will actually exceed its last all time high and go up by a factor of three to five x or even more. So if it cross the 1,300 dollar all-time high, it might even go up to several thousand dollars per bitcoin.

Indeed, as Bitcoin has just broken its all-time high and a new bull-run may be upon us with a good chance of higher highs in 2017.

You can check out the full interview below:

Is this only the beginning of a new bitcoin bull-run? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, googletrends, twitter

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Led 04

Bitcoin Breaks All-Time High in China, $17 Billion Market Cap

· January 4, 2017 · 5:00 am

Bitcoin has hit its all-time high price on pioneering Chinese exchange BTCC (formerly BTC China), reaching almost 7,700 yuan.


Chinese Investors Push Bitcoin to New All-Time High

As of 21.30 PST January 3, the price of a coin reached 7,658.19 yuan, beating a 2014 high of 7,588.88.

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The CEO of China’s oldest Bitcoin exchange BTCC Bobby Lee marked the occasion tweeting,

The spike comes in light of widely-expected renewed efforts by Chinese authorities to stem capital outflow from the country’s slowing economy.

As of July 2017, “banks and other financial institutions in China will have to report all domestic and overseas cash transactions of more than 50,000 yuan ($7201), compared with 200,000 yuan previously,” Reuters reported Monday. Transactions by individuals will need to be reported if they cross the $10,000 border.

In November, the government announced any outgoing forex transfers of over $5 million could be vetted by tax officials and potentially denied. Previously, the threshold for inspection was $50 million.

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China’s official Xinhua news agency nonetheless stated the latest rules were not to do with capital controls.

Reuters explained,

[…] its checks on transactions are meant to target money laundering, terrorism financing and fake outbound investment transactions, and not normal, legitimate business activities. 

Lingham: Trading Spikes ‘Will Not Help Cause’

The mood in China reflects similar circumstances in countries such as India, Venezuela and Pakistan, where currency shake-ups had led to heightened direct interest in understanding, trading and transacting in Bitcoin.

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Civic CEO Vinny Lingham, however, has reiterated his stance on Bitcoin’s current use case, saying its main use is still not as a currency.

I believe that we first need to see it get to the $3,000 price range, which I forecast for later this year, and I believe this is entirely possible, but it must happen while maintaining low volatility and steady growth,” he wrote in a blog post Wednesday. “…Countries falling apart and pouring money into Bitcoin will not help the cause if it happens too quickly.”

He added in a tweet that Bitcoin was fulfilling its first-stage implementation, and that ‘Bitcoin the currency’ is only the third and final stage.

Lingham was capitalizing on his first-ever post from 2014, in which he stated he “didn’t believe Bitcoin is suitable as currency” and that it was “a commodity that can be traded for goods and services.”

He added,

It may become a currency in time, but it just isn’t one right now. It’s a scarce, digital commodity — and the trading that takes place on exchanges really reflects the market sentiment around the value of this digital commodity.

What do you think about Chinese activity and Vinny Lingham’s opinion? Let us know in the comments below!


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