Bitcoin Soars To 3 Year Highs As China Turmoils

With Chinese liquidity markets turmoiling, bonds crashing, and gold premiums soaring, it appears growing concerns over capital controls tightening has sent Chinese fleeing into Bitcoin as a way to escape the mainland restrictions. Bitcoin is up over $30 today to its hghest since Dec 2013...

We first warned of this 'outlet' for Chinese capital in September 2015 when Bitcoin was trading around $200... its just topped $830...

As we noted recently, according to Bloomberg sources, Chinese officials are considering policies including restricting domestic bitcoin exchanges from moving the cryptocurrency to platforms outside the nation and imposing quotas on the amount of bitcoins that can be sent abroad. Further indicating that Chinese regulators were "just a little behind the curve", they allegedly noticed only recently that some investors bought bitcoins on local exchanges and sold them offshore, evading rules on foreign exchange and cross-border fund flows, the report further reveals.

A quick look at the uncanny correlation between the decline in the Yuan and the rise in the bitcoin, confirms that the digital currency has indeed been largely used to evade capital controls.

 

And it appears pushing into Bitcoin is cleaner (for now) than precious metals as an alternative to the Yuan...

Note we saw this pattern in Nov/Dec last year also (as capital control fears grew) and that was followed by a surge back into gold.

As a reminder, back in 2013, the government classified bitcoin as a commodity and not currency, placing it outside the purview of the foreign-exchange regulator, the people said.  That does not mean, however, that China is powerless at limiting bitcoin's upside.

Several Chinese government bodies including the People’s Bank of China and the financial regulators said in a joint notice that year that bitcoin functioned like a digital commodity without the legal status of a currency. The central bank said in January it is studying the prospects of issuing its own digital currency and aims to roll out a product as soon as possible.

While China dominates bitcoin mining and trading, the government has shown caution over its spread in the nation. In 2013, the PBOC barred financial institutions from handling bitcoin transactions.