BTC-CNY

0%


24-Hour Change

24-Hour High

24-Hour Low

Market Cap

All the Bitcoin news and information you need.

Bitcoin Daily is delivered to your inbox each morning, we find the top 3 stories and offer our expert analysis.  Not convinced? Check out our latest newsletter.


Bitcoin to Chinese Yuan

Up until September 2017, China was at the forefront in the Bitcoin market as its citizens had become leading traders and miners of the cryptocurrency. However, in late 2017, the communist government of the nation decided on a blanket embargo on crypto-to-fiat trading and ICOs.

Bitcoin is known for its volatility, but that doesn’t stop people trading it. Accordnig to experts transaction volumes continue to see exponential growth in China through OTC trades.

I like how Duan, VP of Beijing-based OKCoin Co., one of the country’s biggest Bitcoin exchanges, puts it – “Talking about the impact of digital money now is like trying to predict how the Internet would transform lives in the 1980s,

We know it’s going to be huge. It has the potential to change the entire economic infrastructure. We’re just not sure about when and how.

Bitcoin in China and Hong Kong

 

Buying and selling Bitcoin in China is now banned but in Hong Kong it is still unregulated.

A couple of years ago, the head of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) made an analogy saying that to the Chinese government, Bitcoin is essentially like buying and selling rare stamps. The same is the case in Hong Kong.

In January 2018, a fresh crackdown from Beijing saw fringe trading platforms such as P2P and over-the-counter resources banned. At the same time, mixed signals have been given over the status of cryptocurrency mining.

Now lawmakers say they wish to counter contingency moves from traders who sought to circumvent the trading ban by using foreign platforms.

“To prevent financial risks, China will step up measures to remove any onshore or offshore platforms related to virtual currency trading or ICOs,” the South China Morning Post quotes the PBoC-related publication as saying.

The quote continues, “ICOs and virtual currency trading did not completely withdraw from China following the official ban… Overseas transactions and regulatory evasion have resumed… [R]isks are still there, fuelled by the illegal issuance, and even fraud and pyramid selling.”

In Mainland China, even before the ban, banks were forbidden from trading Bitcoins, and payment processors could not use Bitcoin. All the Bitcoin exchanges were subject to the same internet censorship and licensing restrictions which are enforced by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Exchanges were also required to get people’s real identities, oddly this is not enforced by the banking authorities but the internet control authorities, that says, “all Mainland Chinese websites are required to record and verify people’s real names and identities.

In China, no matter what your business is, the government maintains a general level of control over all businesses. So if you run a business in China, it is in your interest to maintain good relations with the local government. When they ask you to do something, you can’t really say no.

Hong Kong’s situation is slightly different than that of China. In order to trade Bitcoin, a bank has to have the permission of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). HKMA does not ban any bank from trading Bitcoins, but shockingly, no bank has asked for permission because the answer will likely be ‘no’. Weird.

Hong Kong goes so far to make it harder for companies involved in Bitcoin to open bank accounts, even though there is no formal ruling for this.

Up until two years ago, it was widely believed that HK has fallen behind in the fintech race. Experts said if Hong Kong needs to be at the forefront of the fintech revolution, they need to increase the adoption of Bitcoin and blockchain technologies to keep up with the other financial capitals of the world.

The Bitcoin adoption will only occur once there are enough use cases for everyday consumers to consider it a valid payment method.

In 2015, when Starbucks took a plunge at this and embraced Bitcoin in HK. They not only started accepting Bitcoins at the coffeehouse as payments, but also disbursed employee’s salaries in Bitcoins too.

However, the reality was a bit different. It was found that the Starbucks’ staff was refusing to accept digital currency payments. Sure, this news was tiny as compared to the Bitcoin adoption around the world, but it certainly revealed how the China’s special administrative region (Hong Kong) was lagging behind the world in terms of FinTech adoption.

Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) went so far to say, many financial institutions in the region still don’t understand Bitcoin’s underlying technology.

Hong Kong doesn’t want to lose the title of being one of the financial powerhouses in the world and finally after two years, HK started to act (or it at least looks like it).

HK’s regulators went on record to say that blockchain can curb money laundering and can help ensure proper implementation of AML and KYC regulations by the banks.

Bitcoin and Blockchain go hand in hand, but for some reason Bitcoin is not a favorite among banks and regulators. Its underlying blockchain technology receives a much favorable view. As per the regulators in Hong Kong, the Bitcoin’s underlying technology can genuinely help curb money laundering issues.

Benedicte Nolens, the head of risk and strategy for the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission has voiced her opinion about the distributed ledger technology at the MIT Technology Review Emtech Conference saying –

I do think quite obviously KYC and AML stands out there as a pretty significant inefficiency and problem case. If you start tallying up the fines, that banks have been subjected to globally for this field, you’re into the 10 billion or more of US dollars,

She is convinced that blockchain can be applied to banks and financial institutions in places where solutions to the problems are clear.

Interestingly, her view comes at the time when Mainland China, as well as Hong Kong, are opening up to the implementation and use of blockchain technology in banking and financial sectors.

Last year, Hong Kong’s Steering Group on Financial Technology had explained how blockchain technology can be integrated into local financial services industry to make it faster, secure and more economical. The People’s Bank of China also has expressed its interest in the use of blockchain and digital currencies at the same time.

Many international banking majors are already part of the banking consortium led by R3 to develop blockchain based solutions for the banking industry.

Notably, Santander Bank said blockchain technology in the banking industry will allow banks to cut their operating costs by millions of dollars.

Looking at what leading decision makers have to say about blockchain, it is clear that financial world is sold to blockchain technology.

Bitcoin Market in HK continue to slip away

According to a recent report by South China Morning Post, Bitcoin businesses are slowly dying in the region.

Once Hong Kong was considered the place to be if you wanted to start a business on cryptocurrencies, but now experts believe that existing laws in both China and Hong Kong aren’t maintaining the technology’s pace.

A lot of entrepreneurs from around the world had flocked to HK to escape the heavy-handed Bitcoin regulations in their countries, only to find themselves in a situation that they were trying to get away from in the first place.

The absence of clear cryptocurrency regulations have lead to various government bodies come up with their own sets of conflicting rules and regulations. Entrepreneurs and investors are not anymore confident about the situation in HK.

They have called for regulators to come together and draft unified regulations which can spare Bitcoin businesses from all the confusion.

The president of the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, Leo Weese says, “I think regulators should be less risk averse, it is not their obligation to shield the Hong Kong economy from people losing money or other negative things.

Country’s banking sector is also to be blamed for not extending its services to Bitcoin and fintech businesses. As I mentioned earlier, businesses that deal with cryptocurrencies find it difficult to open bank accounts in HK leading to mismanagement of their finances.

The co-founder of Bitspark, a remittance platform, George Harrap says, “the banks in Hong Kong don’t consider the compliance requirements, existing licenses or operation history before refusing service to Bitcoin and fintech companies.”

However, the bureaucrats have a different story to tell. They believe that Bitcoin has been overshadowed by the advances in blockchain technology and its applications. To put it simply, according to them, blockchain is good and Bitcoin is bad, which actually makes little sense.

Sure, banks and exchanges in a lot of countries are looking at blockchain as a revolutionary technology. Hong’s Central Bank last year said: Blockchain Holds ‘Enormous Potential’ and Hong Kong stock exchange is already looking to implement blockchain (see next section).

With all this confusion businesses are finding Singapore to be a much better option for Bitcoin operations. If this wasn’t enough ‘Bitfinex hack’ only added fuel to the fire.

Either way, the current situation will likely impact Hong Kong’s standing as one Asia’s leading financial hubs.

Bitfinex Fiasco

Last year in August, Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange, Bitfinex, reported the theft of about US$65.8 million worth of Bitcoins.

Bitfinex is one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges, and is known for having a platform that has deep liquidity in the USD/BTC currency pair.

In an unfortunate event the exchange saw second largest security breach ever of such an exchange (behind MtGox hack) – leading to 119,756 Bitcoin (0.75 percent of all bitcoin in circulation) stolen from users’ accounts.

Zane Tackett, Director of Community & Product Development said, “The bitcoin was stolen from users’ segregated wallets,

This sent shockwaves around with every other news organization reporting the hack. Needless to say, Bitcoin price took a big hit as a result. It plunged just over 23 percent after the news broke.

Tackett added that the breach did not “expose any weaknesses in the security of a blockchain”

It is still not clear whether the hack was an inside job or hackers were able to gain access to the system externally.

Bitfinex soon after suspended trading to further investigate the matter with authorities.

The exchange also said as it goes through individual customer losses, all settlements will be at the market price after time hack was reported.

Hong Kong Exchange to Implement Blockchain

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK) is considering blockchain for their next generation transaction settlement system.

SEHK Chief Executive, Charles Li said that, in addition to retooling its trading platforms, SEHK is looking for options for upgrading its post trade system as well.

According to Li, it would take three to four years for the system to be implemented, during which the exchange would seek to both cut costs and reduce risk across its operations.

As a part of that process, SEHK is considering blockchain for possible use.

Li further went on to say, “In 2016 we started to look at the role new technologies (such as cloud computing and distributed ledger) can play in our future development and this will continue in 2017 when we will determine our NextGen roadmap.

SEHK has already been in talks with New York based NASDAQ exchange concerning the blockchain technology.

As per the President and Chief Operating Officer Adena Friedman, the Nasdaq stock market is hoping to bring its blockchain technology to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

There are numerous benefits of using blockchain technology for any stock exchange. Blockchain records a transaction in such a way that prevents duplication (aka double spending problem). It also lowers the risk of frauds, for instance, logged entries cannot subsequently be rewritten or the dates changed.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has already launched an innovation hub that will test blockchain and distributed ledger solutions. It aims to spur banks to embrace technology to make financial transactions safer, speedier and more convenient for consumers.

“Our technology allows them to grow and leverage blockchain if they choose to. The [Hong Kong markets] can use ours or they can use someone else’s – we’re agnostic to that in terms of how the technology is created.” Friedman added.

Apparently, it is not only SEHK that is going after blockchain technology, a dozen of other world trading platforms has shown an interest in blockchain, including the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), South Korean Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, Japan Exchange Group and Nasdaq.

Particularly, ASX believes that the need for the clearing system may largely disappear with the implementation of blockchain.

What could this mean for startups and angel investing

The stock exchanges are extremely good at implementing new technologies and they know how to make them work. You can buy or sell shares in seconds without running into any issues.

As of now Hong Kong is trying take back its lost crown of being a startup hub. It wants to be a place where any startup in the world can come in order to get funding, but there are too many inefficiencies in the startup investing system because no office is automated.

Here is the situation right now, if you manage to convince a group of investors to invest in your startup, it can take weeks just to do the paperwork. Worse is, if suppose one angel wants to transfer their shares or debt to another angel, that too can take days. In the end, you must fill out the forms and keep track of what you’ve promised to whom – nothing short of a nightmare.

Since, Hong Kong Exchange is serious about implementing blockchain, they can perhaps create a shares/debt ownership registry that any company in Hong Kong can enter information into by using blockchain.

As of now, HK private companies are by law required to have a registry of who owns what shares, and what debt has been issued. Those registries are on paper in some filing cabinet in an accountant’s office.

By creating a registry of share ownership, the Hong Kong Exchange could revolutionize startup investments – in turn making it possible to transfer shares and debt easily.

Once this registry is in place, local Hong Kong brokers can also access that registry (thanks to blockchain) and if you are a professional investor, you can manage your angel investments as easily as you manage your holdings of bonds and stocks.

So when a bunch of investors agree to invest in your startup, they can go to their local HK broker, show proof that they are a professional investor, and just buy the shares.

Revolutionary indeed.

The best part of this system would be that it requires no regulatory changes. Angel investors and companies will be subject to exactly the same rules as before. Everything will happen as it used to, only instead of paper they can record ownership on a system run by HKEX.

Also, needless to say, anything that involves even minor regulatory changes means that it will take you years and even then it may never go through.

‘Input Output Honk Kong’ collaborates with Tokyo Institute of Technology

Input Output Hong Kong, a blockchain developer and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have shook hands to create a blockchain collaborative within the Tokyo Tech School of Computing.

The institutions will promote joint research in blockchain related technologies. They both recognize that cryptocurrencies can revolutionize not only the banking system, but also societies worldwide by providing more efficient and inclusive ways to make financial transactions.

In order to enhance the blockchain research, IOHK has also entered the Bitcoin 2.0 sweepstakes with a protocol designed to support a blockchain capable of handling more transactions.

In a nutshell, Bitcoin 2.0 is any application that makes use of decentralised public ledgers for purposes other than digital currencies. These applications are sometimes also referred to as “crypto 2.0”.

The partnership between IOHK and Tokyo Institute aims to tackle various challenges of blockchain. For instance, one goal is to develop young professionals and to educate society about the new technology.

This collaboration has two main goals: the first is develop our business area, which is cryptocurrencies and blockchain related technologies in the fundamental level,” said Charles Hoskinson, IOHK CEO and co-founder. “The second is to nurture and develop global talent in these areas in Japan.

According to Yoshinao Mishima, president of Tokyo Tech, this initiative matters because the school wants to enhance the collaboration with industries and universities in Japan and abroad by delivering groundbreaking results in research and engineering.

The Collaborative Research Chair is the continuation of a 6-month joint agreement between the two parties. It is designed to:

  1. Research blockchain-related technologies and related areas
  2. Nurture global talent and expertise
  3. Promote collaboration among researchers worldwide

 

OkCoin Chief Executive Officer, Star Xu, suggested the PBoC set up a third-party custodian platform to prevent exchanges from absconding with users’ money.

Bitcoin trading volume plummeted in China following the imposition of exchange fees, while its price had risen 11 percent last month after this move.

 

 

Xotto: Blockchain Version of the Famous Hong Kong Mark Six Lottery

Xotto shows the magic of blockchain.

Last week on Feb 22, 2017 XOTTO went live on xotto.org. The lottery follows the same rules as the famous Hong Kong Mark Six lottery and translates the results onto the blockchain.

Thanks to the blockchain technology, XOTTO is now more transparent and it solves one major problem in online gambling – money withdrawals.

Everything is trackable, fully automatized, fair and easy to use. There is no need for registration to purchase a XOTTO ticket and play. This provides complete anonymity unless the player himself decides to leave the email address and get notified.

The best part? The winner doesn’t even have to claim the reward, because the prize is automatically delivered to his digital wallet once the winning numbers are released by Hong Kong Mark Six lottery.

Technical part: XOTTO is operated by means of a cryptocurrency named VEROS (VRS), which was launched in October 2016. The jackpot of the lottery is also collected in VEROS and is comprised from the amount of sold tickets. The winner receives the prize directly to a VEROS e-wallet address, from which the ticket was purchased.

In future payment options in BTC and ETH will become available.

There are only two parties involved in the game – the player and the smart contract. The information about the automatically drawn lottery numbers and the transactions (pay-ins/pay-outs) is available to everyone on the Ethereum blockchain.

The smart contract, based on the jackpot, executes a VEROS transaction from the jackpot wallet to the winners’ wallets automatically.

Naturally, because of blockchain, all tickets and the jackpot can be verified on the distributed ledger, which goes to show how fair and straightforward the game really is.

The drawing occurs three times a week: on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday at 9:30 pm (Hong Kong time), followed by the announcement of the results on TV, radio, the HKM6 and the XOTTO lottery websites.

Here is the white paper outlining the mechanics of XOTTO lottery. A VEROS digital wallet is available on veros.org.

Bitcoin Mining in China

China is the world leader when it comes to mining Bitcoin. Even after the ban, mining continues. Chinese mines comprise about 70% of the world’s Bitcoin processing power. That’s a lot.

This China domination is estimated at around $9.2 Billion Bitcoin market capitalization. Some critics view this influence as a threat to Bitcoin because China’s miners are opposing some of the reforms to improve Bitcoin transaction speed as bitcoin use expands.

So why is China mining so much? Two reasons. Cheap electricity and excess coal.

Electricity in China is extremely cheap as compared to other countries. Electricity costs is the most important factor for a profitable mining operation.

As mining difficulty increases, the least efficient miners are forced to shut down first. The miner that can solve the fastest gets the reward. China’s cheap electricity keeps Chinese miners at peak efficiency and allows them to outlast their competitors.

In China, energy producers can also burn coal and use the energy for Bitcoin mining. Instead of physically moving coal, it’s easy to just burn the coal and convert it into Bitcoin through mining.

Interestingly, the Chinese government has not been very intrusive with the mining operations. The government banned banks from trading bitcoin in 2013, but individuals were permitted to trade, and miners were allowed to operate.

Sichuan is the new home

Sichuan is a southwestern Chinese province that is known for its spicy food flavors. Now, though, it is becoming a Bitcoin mining capital.

According to China Money Network, since 2015, over 30 percent of China’s bitcoin mining machines have been purchased from the Sichuan province.

As per the report, there are around 10,000 Bitcoin mining machines in Sichuan working around the clock for the digital currency.

Sichuan is getting all this love for one reason – cheap electricity. Also, cold climate and low population density makes it a perfect destination for mining operations. The city provides cheap electricity through its hydroelectric power plants.

Chinese power companies established hydroelectric plants in western Sichuan during the country’s economic expansion. When the economy slowed, they were no longer able to sell to the national power grid.

Bitcoin miner and investor, Chandler Guo, revealed that electricity in China has become so cheap due to rising supply and decreasing demand that electricity companies are coming to local miners to purchase ASIC chips and mining equipment to allocate unconsumed electricity to Bitcoin mining.

Eric Mu, Chief Operating Officer at HaoBTC, said it makes sense for the power companies to sell electricity to anyone willing to pay for it.

HaoBTC has a mine in Sichuan with more than 11,000 machines that earn more than 80 Bitcoins daily.

Another mining company in Sichuan is Mabian Tianjia Network Technology Co., Ltd. It produces as many as 27 bitcoin per day.

Before you decide to move to Sichuan and start buying Bitcoin mining machines, understand that the upfront costs involved are very high. Electricity bills alone can cost thousands of dollars while the profitability remains uncertain with the price of Bitcoin remaining highly volatile.

Green Mining Power

As of today, the Bitcoin mining sector is robust with computations faster than the world’s top 500 supercomputers combined. The global Bitcoin mining economy consumes around $500 million in electrical and operational costs.

It is estimated that the Bitcoin network could use as much electricity as Denmark by 2020. Earning Bitcoin through mining is clearly an expensive process and consumes a lot of energy as the machines operate 24×7.

Over the years miners have managed to find ways to utilize the heat generated by the machines to warm their houses and warehouses.

Mining facilities are always on the lookout for various techniques to acquire cheap electricity and some of them with environment in mind.

Some mining operations use burning cheap coal in plants to more greener energy solutions like hydropower. Iceland has quite a few mining facilities in the country because operations make use of the cold air and geothermal steam power plants.

Bitcoin’s energy consumption have raised many eyebrows. People believe there will be the need for more hydropower plants that can produce 1,000-10,000 megawatts per plant. Some say, Bitcoin mining may even go nuclear utilizing its energy resource of 7,000 to 10,000 megawatts per energy station.

It is great that Bitcoin miners are already practicing greener energy solutions. Some miners are looking at better ways to use the heat generated by these massive mining facilities.

In the future, Bitcoin mining will only grow. We may see more techniques that harness bitcoin minings energy and power in a much more useful way.

As of now, power acts as Bitcoin’s greatest security advantage. There will never be a time in the future when there is no electricity in the world unless.. we’re talking zombie apocalypse. In that case, Bitcoin would be the last thing in our minds.

Bigger Blocks

The debate on whether to increase the block size or not has been going on for a while in the Bitcoin community.

First started back in 2015, how best to scale blockchain remains the dominating disagreement.

One year later, some miners again want measures that would raise the bitcoin block size in an effort to support more transactions. As of now, Bitcoin network can only achieve 7 transactions per second.

To put this in context, Visa says its payment system processes 2,000 transactions per second on average and can handle up to 56,000 transactions per second if needed.

This is how it works. When you use Bitcoin to pay for an item, that transaction needs to be verified on the blockchain. This is done by miners who use computing power to solve increasingly complex mathematical equations to mine new Bitcoins, which come in “blocks” and are mined about every 10 minutes.

These blocks are used to record all transactions made on the bitcoin network, and have a maximum size of 1MB, meaning they can record just seven transactions per second, at most.

The problem at one point grew so large that there were 40,000 bitcoin transactions waiting to be cleared.

The average time it takes for a bitcoin transaction to be verified is around 50 minutes, but some transactions can even take days. If you add a small fee to your transaction, it bumps that transaction up in the queue, meaning that those who didn’t pay such a fee – may have to wait more.

This has led the Bitcoin to split into two distinct groups over the past two years. The first group is known as Bitcoin Core, the network’s volunteer developers who want to change the way the signatures are stored on the blockchain rather than increase the size of the blocks.

The other is Bitcoin Classic, a group comprised of developers and enthusiasts who propose the adoption of an alternative blockchain (incompatible with the original) that would increase the block size to 2 MB or more.

When there were more than 40,000 transactions pending on the Bitcoin network, Core team suggested the slowdown in transactions was because of the members of the Classic group who were spamming the network with low-fee transactions that miners simply don’t want to accept, and therefore clogging up the network.

Lately, China’s Bitcoin miners are seeing more profits in bigger-block blockchain.

At China’s first miner conference, an event organized by major miner Bitmain, Huang, a Bitcoin enthusiast and miner, spoke at length on scaling the blockchain. He said it is “pretty much determined” how the Bitcoin network will scale.

Huang argued that the blocks are already full that is why we are not seeing growth in transaction volume. Limited space, he said, would lead to higher fees, turning away potential Bitcoin users.

He warned in this environment other alternative cryptocurrencies, like litecoin or ethereum, could maybe gain traction.

Huang discussed when the current 1MB limit on transactions per block is raised to 2MB, 8MB or “removed completely”, it would be much better for miners, and more lucrative.

He went so far to say, “This is controversial and I may be a bit extreme but I will say it anyway, that is switching your hashrate to those pools supportive of scaling.

This debate finally ended in August 2017, leading to a Bitcoin fork called Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Bitcoin Unlimited

Bitcoin Unlimited is a new grassroots client that continues the transaction capacity increase method bitcoin used for much of its existence.

That means, just like without any centralized direction miners somewhat spontaneously increased the block limit from 250kb to 500kb to 750kb and then finally to 1MB.

With Bitcoin Unlimited, they can now increase it in the same manner from 1MB to 2MB to 4MB as per the demand.

Jiang Zhuoer, founder of BTC.TOP, a new bitcoin mining pool that has suddenly shot to around 8% of the network’s hashrate, tells CCN in an interview:

The market needs big blocks. If Core doesn’t want to (or can’t) give it, the market will take it by itself. No one can go against the market, unless he can show more money.

The debate is now going on for more than two years with no conclusion reached so far. That said, it looks like Bitcoin Unlimited is gaining momentum. Its hashrate share has been increasing for about a month or more and may soon significantly surpass segwit.

If and when the hashrate crosses 50% it will become clear that Bitcoin Unlimited is the preferred client. Businesses, individuals and miners will need to upgrade. It will be an interesting twist in the Bitcoin’s story.

Bitcoin Core’s Take

It isn’t surprising that this move by Chinese miners have since been criticized by Bitcoin Core developers.

Bitcoin Core developers cited the work of Princeton researchers that found bitcoin to be unstable without a valuable block subsidy, a finding that would seem to contradict that a fee market could power bitcoin alone.

The developers further asserted that miners would not able to unilaterally switch to a new blockchain through a hard fork, as they would need the consent of full nodes and consumers.

This could mean the emergence of two chains, which would substantially devalue the currency. Only the time will tell how this whole debate will pan out.

Bitcoin Mining Pools in China

China has four of the five largest Bitcoin mining pools.

1. DISCUSFISH/F2POOL

DiscusFish, also known as F2Pool has mined about 19.5% of all blocks over the past six months.

2. ANTPOOL

Antpool is maintained by Bitmain. It mines about 18.5% of all blocks.

3. BTCC

BTCC is China’s third largest Bitcoin exchange. Its mining pool currently mines about 11.5% of all blocks.

4. BW POOL

BW, established in 2014, mines about 8% of all blocks.

This is how the current hashrate distribution looks like as of Feb 25, 2017:

Buy Bitcoin in Hong Kong

Following is the list of most popular ways to buy Bitcoin in China and Hong Kong:

1. LocalBitcoins (HK)

An escrow service which also helps to match bitcoin buyers and sellers. The most common method of payment for purchase is cash deposit. However, users usually advertise the preferred way of accepting payments.

Buying bitcoins via an in-person meeting, secured and facilitated by LocalBitcoins, may be one of the fastest and most private ways to buy bitcoins in any country.

 

2. Gatecoin (Hong Kong)

Gatecoin accepts bank transfers from around 40 different countries. Users can buy bitcoin using HKD, EUR, USD and CNY.

3. Bitfinex (Hong Kong)

Bitfinex has long been one of the largest USD Bitcoin exchanges in the world. The accounts can only be funded by bank wire only. Their fee on accepting wire transfers is as low as 0.1%.

4. Coinmama

Coinmama allows customers from almost all the countries to buy bitcoin with a credit or debit card. Although they have a very high fee, around 8% on each purchase.

5. Bitcoin Meetups

If you’re new to Bitcoin and just want to buy for a few dollars worth to try it out, there is a good chance you will find someone to trade with at Bitcoin meetups in Hong Kong.

6. Bitcoin ATMs

You can also walk up to a Bitcoin ATM to buy Bitcoin with cash. China has three Bitcoin ATMs (two in Beijing and one in Shanghai), whereas Hong Kong has five.

Bitcoin ATMs can be a quick and easy way to buy bitcoins and they’re also private, but most ATMs charge fees anywhere between 5-10 percent.

When you’ve got some Bitcoins in your wallet, go ahead and spend them. Just go to spendbitcoin.com and search the product that you’re looking for. You will see the list of seller that accept Bitcoin in your country.

There are more than 150,000 merchants around the world that are accepting Bitcoin as payments. Microsoft, Dell, Overstock are to name a few. Here is the complete list in case you ever need to buy something from them.

Conclusion

After continuous efforts by Chinese authorities to curb Bitcoin, the state finally closed down all the exchanges and ICOs by late 2017. However, in 2018, experts suggest OTC trades in China are surpassing the exchanges’ volumes of 2017.

Hong Kong, on the other hand, remains as one of the favorite regions for ICOs. The country is also leading in digital payments and quickly migrating towards a cashless society. In the middle of this transformation I don’t see how Bitcoin will lose any importance in the coming future. In fact, the popularity of Bitcoin will only rise.

China has banned Bitcoin. The country has also banned Facebook, Google and whatever gets in the way of their censorship.