NEW YORK — Chinese regulators are moving forward to shut down
bitcoin trading in the country, but one executive says traders
have a way to work around a ban.
On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal’s Steven Russolillo
and Chuin-Wei Yap reported that
bitcoin traders can still exchange their coins via messaging apps
such as WeChat, the largest in China with over 900 million
“You use WeChat, you meet someone, you chat, you buy and
sell, you transfer money, nobody knows why you transferred the
money,” Leon Liu, chief executive and cofounder of BitKan said at
a bitcoin conference in Beijing on Wednesday, according to The
Journal. “This is everywhere now.”
The Journal reported Monday that
Chinese regulators would widen their crackdown on the digital
coin. Authorities, according to reporting by Chao
Deng, plan to shut down all channels for exchanging the
cryptocurrency — not just commercial ones as originally expected.
Many exchanges in the country have already halted trading or
announced their intention to do so in the near
It’s uncertain, however, how long bitcoin investors in
China will be able to use WeChat as a go-around to the
Beijing has taken a number of steps to increase its
surveillance of apps like WeChat.
7, authorities said creators of messaging groups on the app will
be liable for the behavior of members, according to
“Already, 40 people from one WeChat group have been
disciplined for spreading petition letters while arresting a man
who complained about police raids, according to reports in official
Chinese media,” wrote Bloomberg’s Lulu Yilun Chen.
Still, traders can simply flock to other messaging apps,
including ones banned in the country.
“While Telegram is officially blocked in China, users can
access the service through virtual private networks,” Bloomberg
says. “As a foreign encrypted platform, it is somewhat beyond the
grasp of the country’s authorities.”
Get the latest Bitcoin price here.