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The Chinese Bitcoin Economy: Are the Hundred Flowers Here to Stay?

bitcoinmagazine.com / By Vitalik Buterin / July 9, 2013

Over the past few months, Bitcoin has taken the Chinese community by storm. In early April,Iwannabuy, an online discount store selling air purifiers, humidifiers and anti-pollution masks to people living in China started accepting Bitcoin for its products. On April 23, the One Foundation, China’s largest private charitable foundation, followed suit, accepting Bitcoin donations for a disaster relief effort after a recent earthquake, receiving $30,000 worth of BTC in a single day. On the same day, for the first time another country registered more downloads of the Bitcoin-Qt client than the United States. The country in question: China. At the beginning of May, millions of Chinese were introduced to Bitcoin for the first time with a half-hour special on the state TV network. Altogether, the effect was massive. Two months later, TechInAsia reports that “the bitcoin industry is also all over Taobao [China's equivalent of Ebay], where you can buy everything from computer chips to custom mining rigs to bitcoins themselves.”

owever, there still remains a huge sword of Damocles hanging over the fledgling Chinese Bitcoin community. The problem: same as in so many other countries in the world, government regulation. China already went through the digital currency experiment once with Q Coin. Q coin is a form of electronic money issued by Tencent QQ, one of the largest internet companies in China. Tencent QQ offers services including online social games, music, blogging and chat, and Q Coin was introduced as a sort of gift card for QQ’s paid virtual addons.

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