Bitcoin just topped $4400 for the first time since in over 3 weeks and has now erased all of the plunge losses from Jamie Dimon's "it's a fraud" and China's shuttering of all local exchanges.
It didn't take long for the world of crypto-currencies to shrug off Jamie Dimon's self-tighteous denigration of the decentralized currency that could directly 'disrupt' his cash cow businesses; and furthermore, as The South China Morning Post reports, China's bitcoin market alive and well as traders defy crackdown.
As SCMP reports, weeks after Beijing banned fundraising through token launches and ordered some bitcoin exchanges to shut, casting a chill over the cryptocurrency industry, traders say that the market is far from dead.
While several exchanges have announced that they will close by the end of this month, traders have now moved to buy and sell bitcoin directly with each other on peer-to-peer marketplaces and messenger apps.
Although the crackdown has dissuaded large swathes of less-experienced investors from participating in the trade, market participants point to the limits Chinese regulators ultimately face in controlling the industry, where many users are anonymous and difficult to track.
In the short-run, the crackdown has also created an arbitrage opportunity for investors, with the price of bitcoin in China now trading at a discount to overseas exchanges.
“They can’t set rules to stop me from investing in what I want to invest in. They say you are protecting me, but as long as I think this is good, they have no way to intervene,” said a Chinese bitcoin investor named Victor, who declined to give his full name citing current sensitivities.
“I can do over-the-counter trades or I’ll go offshore ... My wallet is my wallet. I’ve never registered my identification card.”
Over 15 exchanges, including the three largest players OkCoin, Huobi and BTCChina, have since announced that they will close their mainland businesses by the end of September.
Trading has spiked generally on peer-to-peer marketplaces, according to data website Coindance. On OTC platform LocalBitcoins, China trading volumes more than doubled in the week starting September 16 from the previous week to 74 million yuan.
It hit an all-time-high in the week starting September 23, reaching 115 million yuan in trades.
“The fact that bitcoin is still being traded is an indication that China isn’t looking to eliminate them, but reposition things in a way to have better control over them,” said Marshall Swatt, the founder of New York-based Coinsetter, a bitcoin exchange acquired by larger peer San Francisco-based Kraken in 2016.