Chinese bitcoin firms plan to go offshore to sidestep crackdown

bitcoin-china12 May 2014 / South China Morning Post – Chinese bitcoin businesses are drafting plans to escape the mainland crackdown on the digital currency, the South China Morning Post has learned.

China’s biggest bitcoin exchange, Huobi, is considering shifting its operations abroad to protect its customers.

“We are trying to create an offshore account and to go international,” Leon Li, founder and chief executive of the Beijing-based trading platform, told the Post. “We don’t want to touch the customers’ money in China, because maybe [regulation] is going to get worse.”

Before the crackdown, customers could deposit or transfer money to or from the company’s mainland bank account. In future, they may have to use overseas bank accounts in order to bypass the mainland’s tightly controlled banking system.

Li and the other heads of the five largest bitcoin businesses in China – BTC China, OKCoin, BTC Trade and CHBTC – withdrew from a global bitcoin summit in Beijing over the weekend in order to lower the meeting’s profile.

Bobby Lee, chief executive of BTC China, said: “You can see the pressure being applied from different angles.”

Lee said his Shanghai-based exchange was using paper vouchers to manage transactions to avoid mainland banks….. Read more

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