Bitcoin trading is booming in China despite the country’s recent ban on centralized exchanges, as traders take to investing in the virtual currency through peer-to-peer exchanges, the South China Morning Post reports. But the Chinese government is said to be monitoring the situation closely.
Peer-to-peer trade in bitcoin involves buyers interacting directly – on a one-to-one basis – with sellers, instead of using a centralized marketplace or exchange. “Over-the-counter trading is booming,” China’s National Committee of Experts on Internet Financial Security, a government-backed research group, said in its Bitcoin OTC Report for November. “This warrants further attention.”
Bitcoin investors had feared that China’s September ban on trading on domestic exchanges would dampen the appetite for bitcoin on the mainland, a key source of demand globally. But analysts say the authorities have found that where there is a will, there is a way.
“After a period of caution following the September government actions, the China blockchain community is open for business,” said Matthew Graham, chief executive of Sino Global Capital, a Beijing-based advisory company. “We expect this to continue and even increase.”