China started its crackdown on Cryptocurrency and initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s) last year. By the start of this year, an official ban was imposed with Government categorically banning its employees to refrain from holding or trading bitcoin. Regulatory authorities have warned of strict action if any of the public servants are caught trading or holding cryptos. The Chinese government has accelerated its move to pull down websites which are indulging in any sort of Crypto arrangements. Supervision is on increase as the ban is operational on any commercial activity and on any domestic or international cryptocurrency trading platform. China started the year with the freezing of a number of Bitcoin OTC trade accounts many of which are estimated worth millions.
Despite such rigorous regulations, the crypto and blockchain networks are thriving in the country. Many Chinese Blockchain startups are showcasing innovative blockchain projects across the globe however, Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges such as Huobi and OKEX
are thriving. These two cryptocurrency exchanges were one of the largest exchanges prior to the ban. When the ban was initiated, both Huobi and OKEX relocated out of the country. Now the exchanges are functioning from Hong Kong. In fact, OKEX recently overtook Binance which was the biggest exchange of the cryptocurrency market. The relocation of such exchanges paved the way to new gateways for Chinese cryptocurrency markets. These markets are now functional on a global level.
According to Terence Tsang, COO of TideBit, Chinese investors are still buying cryptocurrencies, and the ban is nowhere near to stopping them. Most of the investors buy cryptocurrencies from Hong Kong and Singapore. Tsang is of the opinion that the migration fueled the growth of the cryptocurrency markets at a much-accelerated rate.
Chinese cryptocurrency markets are still witnessing transactions worth one billion dollars processed on a daily basis. Most of the analysts, developers, and blockchain stakeholders are not hosting conferences or events in China as they are cautious.
The ban is still operational, and many believe that it is only a matter of time that the ban is lifted. While the government is still trying to get a grasp of these practices, many corporations are trying to mine the potentials of blockchain technology. Blockchain continues to draw its impact on many sectors in China including Retail. In fact, one of the most influential Chinese retailer JD.com is funding projects to innovate on cryptocurrency and blockchain.
China is home to one of the most promising cryptocurrency NEO, which is also marketed as the ‘Ethereum of China.’ This major cryptocurrency stands its ground in China despite the ban, and its market valuation is ever increasing. At the start of the year, Neo was valued at more than $10.5 billion; Neo holds the position of sixth biggest cryptocurrencies of the world.
Although the Chinese government is trying very hard to enforce the ban, the scenario still remains pretty much dominated by cryptocurrency and blockchains. With large-scale conglomerates putting in efforts to commercialize the cryptocurrencies and see to the mining of potentials of the blockchain technology.