Despite Warnings China’s Over the Counter Bitcoin Economy Is Booming

Bitcoin in China has deep roots as a vast majority of mining takes place in the region, and the country once accounted for the lion’s share of the world’s BTC trade volume. These days, however, renminbi and bitcoin volume coming from mainland exchanges is virtually non-existent, but there’s a whole lot more international and underground action happening within the over-the-counter (OTC) crypto-economy.

CNY/BTC Trade Volume Is Virtually Non-existent As China’s Market Action Has Moved to Hong Kong, OTC Markets, and Tether

In the past Chinese bitcoin trade volume captured the majority of global trades for quite some time, and the renminbi (¥ CNY) was usually the top currency traded with BTC. However, these days CNY represents less than 0.03 percent of the world’s bitcoin trade volume and ranks number 20 amongst all the other global currencies. Even though CNY volume is down, Chinese exchanges are still functioning internationally in places like Hong Kong according to the Bitcoin Association of HK’s founder and tech-columnist Leonhard Weese. The top three Chinese exchanges Huobi, Okcoin, and BTCC now only capture 7 percent of the global trade volume Weese explains. For instance, at the time of writing, Huobi is swapping $194M USD worth of BTC paired with Tether. Okcoin only accounts for $11M worth of BTC trades and BTCC is trading $146M in BTC, ETH, BCH, and ETC. The controversial Tether (USDT) medium of exchange has interestingly replaced the CNY as far as worldwide volumes by currency.

Despite Warnings China's Over the Counter Bitcoin Economy Is Booming
China used to be the #1 currency by volume for bitcoin trade but now represents #20. The CNY only captures 0.03 percent of the global share.

Over-the-Counter Dealers Reap the Benefits, But China’s Government Is Watching

Even though Chinese exchange volume is lower than in the past, and renminbi pairs are not taking place within the region — OTC trading is booming. This week Chinese Localbitcoins trades are at an all-time high outpacing the last time exchanges went on hiatus. Additionally, other OTC platforms are also seeing a surge in demand like Poim, Richfund.pe, and Coincola. These companies not only provide substantial orders of bitcoins to investors, but also contribute liquidity to the top three Chinese exchanges who are utilizing international borders as a shield. Richfund is well known as a significant bitcoin hedge fund and OTC dealer within the region and supplies funds to many institutions…

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