China is currently one of the countries with heavily regulated markets, and most especially the crypto market. In fact, the Chinese government seems to be heavily anti-cryptos and mining, although it does encourage the propagation of blockchain technology.
Back in 2017, the Chinese authorities imposed a ban on all crypto-related activities, prompting exchanges like Huobi, BTC China, and OkCoin to exit the Chinese market.
However, according to a recent statement by a council member of the Bank of China’s Law Research Association, the authorities aren’t really against owning Bitcoin, meaning that one can still have ownership of cryptos without being deemed a lawbreaker.
To clarify further, Sa Xiao, who is the member in question quoted by CnLedger, a Chinese crypto news outlet, the authorities are just against trading Bitcoins. It’s this heavy-handed restriction that led to the 2018 issuance of a directive to have entities like Alipay cease facilitation of Over-The-Counter (OTC) Bitcoin trading.
Occasional Transfer Is Okay
However, according to the official quoted, occasional P2P transfer of cryptos is legal – as long as no trading is involved. The Bank of China argues that it’s very risky for any entity to facilitate Bitcoin trading in the country because it would be subject to strict legal redress in the event that its customers lose money as a result of its operations.
Just recently, about 100 people were scammed out of around $56 million by a crook who promised to invest the money in exchanges and earn them profits.
Investors Still Have Some Tricks Up Their Sleeves
Still, it’s not impossible for smart investors to deal cryptos in China. For one, the authorities have cracked down on any crypto-related field that they can control, but they’re yet to influence direct ownership. In that sense, it’s not possible to crack down on Bitcoin ownership, especially considering that Bitcoin is decentralized and untraceable.
Is It A Reboot?
To many, the move by Chinese authorities to try to control the crypto space rings a bell back to what they did with the internet. By initially strangling the industry, the authorities may be aiming at rebooting it under more government control in the long run.