In a report out today from Goldman Sachs about the future of money, the bank points out that 80% of bitcoin volume is now exchanged into and out of Chinese yuan. The second-highest trading currency is the US dollar, followed by smaller denominations in yen and euros.
The revelation of China’s bitcoin trading dominance seems to defy the logic that tight government restrictions would depress bitcoin’s adoption in the world’s largest economy. The amount of bitcoin trading activity in China has also risen, despite bitcoin’s precipitous price fall from last year’s $1,000-plus highs to less than $300 today.
China’s central bank clamped down on the cryptocurrency back in December 2013 when it banned bitcoin transactions at banks, retailers, and payment companies such as Alipay and Tencent. But the data show that bitcoin volume continued marching higher as bitcoin believers kept buying, selling and mining the cryptocurrency.
The fact that China has become a major mining hub is a likely contributor to its high bitcoin transaction volume, according to a report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The report also notes that bitcoin has lured day traders looking to profit off of bitcoin’s volatility, as well as younger Chinese investors who might not have the money to invest in property or the understanding to invest in the stock market.
Bitcoin evangelist and crypto currency lawyer Roland Sun explained in an interview on industry website Lets Talk Bitcoin that there’s no explicit ban on buying, selling, or owning bitcoin as long as the central bank considers it a commodity, rather than a currency. He said “the only restriction imposed here is to block financial institutions and third-party payment processors from aiding crypto currency businesses (yet there are still many loopholes in reality to circumvent or even penetrate that restriction).”
报道称，比特币支持者和密算货币律师罗兰·孙在业界网站“Lets Talk Bitcoin”上的访谈中解释说，只要央行认为比特币是商品而非货币，那么对买卖或持有比特币就没有明确的限制。他说：“在这里唯一的限制是禁止金融机构和第三方支付公司辅助密算货币交易（但实际上有很多漏洞存在，可以设法回避，甚至打破限制）。”
So until the Chinese government provides more clarity on its bitcoin stance, China’s bitcoin trade is likely to go on.