BTC Price Could Fall Further If It Fails in This Key Area
Bitcoin (BTC) took a steep hit on Thursday, falling 13% by early afternoon trading. But more worrisome for the long-term outlook of the BTC price is that some are denouncing the currency as underperforming in one key area of use: circumventing the Chinese government’s strict capital controls.
China accounts for a huge share of Bitcoin exchange, both due to past troubles with the yuan’s valuation relative to the dollar (though that has recently experienced a reversal) and the aforementioned currency controls. These twin factors, among others, have helped spur the BTC price by getting Chinese investors involved.
But some are pushing back against the conventional wisdom that Bitcoin is actually useful for getting around Chinese capital controls.
Bitquant Research Laboratories (Asia) Ltd. founder Joseph Wang described Bitcoin as “pretty much totally and completely useless for getting money out of China” in a post on Quora. “I tried to run a business doing that, and it turns out that nobody is interested.” (Source: “Bitcoin: Why doesn’t China kill Bitcoin altogether?” Quora, October 7, 2015.)
Bitquant is a FinTech research laboratory out of Hong Kong that has produced a bevy of research on digital currencies, including a macroeconomic model of Bitcoin.
Wang went on to say that his business experience revealed that there are far better options for those looking to move their cash around the controls.
“There are about a dozen different ways of getting money out of China that work a lot better than Bitcoin,” he wrote, “and no one uses Bitcoin to get around currency controls. The best rate we could get is a five percent transaction fee, and it turns out that you can do things at 0.1 percent with using the hot money brokers.”
Wang even went on to claim that the Chinese government wants people to find ways around the controls rather than strangle innovation with them.
…it’s the policy of the Chinese government to gradually get rid of currency controls and to liberalize the economy so that more things are done by the market. One way they do this is to wink at people and tell them that if they do illegal thing X, they won’t end up in jail, and see what happens. If the world doesn’t blow up they make it legal.
Wang presents here a contrarian view to what many see as a key usage of Bitcoin. If he’s right, the BTC price may see a further dive.