These are the show notes for the Unchained podcast, available on Google Play, iTunes, iHeartRadio, Stitcher or TuneIn Radio, and sponsored by OnRamp.
A year ago, Bitcoin had become, in many ways, a Chinese story. More than 90% of Bitcoin trading took place there, on exchanges that charged no-trading fees. The majority of Bitcoin miners were located there due to the cheap electricity. And the biggest Bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer in the world, Bitmain, is a Chinese company.
While it’s still true that China is dominant in mining and manufacturing mining equipment, that no longer is the case with Bitcoin’s trading volume. Around New Year’s, when China banned no-fee trading and began enforcing other regulations on Chinese Bitcoin exchanges, trading of Bitcoin in China plummeted, and over the course of the year, Bitcoin trading shifted toward countries like Japan.
Still, it was a surprise to many when, a few weeks ago, China banned this year’s runaway crypto trend: initial coin offerings. Even more, authorities asked token issuers to refund participants’ money. Then, within two weeks, the Chinese central bank, the People’s Bank of China, told Bitcoin exchanges they had to close as well.
“In the past few weeks, there were 10 ICOs every week, and a lot of people don’t understand Bitcoin. They don’t know what Bitcoin is. They’re just coming in and want to make big money. When the situation got worse, old ladies were investing their retirement savings, and the government stepped in,” said Da Hongfei, cofounder of NEO, a blockchain platform for digital assets and smart contracts, in the latest episode of my podcast, Unchained (Google Play, iTunes, iHeartRadio, Stitcher or TuneIn Radio).
Patrick Dai, the cofounder of Qtum, said that...