Update to the China Bitcoin saga

JISHOU, HUNAN — I talked to customer service at Huobi today, and it seems enabling deposits with my Chinese bank card is not easy as one would think — all because of the lack of a Chinese national ID number. So, they will refund my 500 RMB ($73) deposit in two to three days.

If Huobi’s coders don’t edit the backend to allow linking passport numbers to Chinese bank cards, I may be shut out of Huobi indefinitely. There’s really no point in using an exchange if you can’t, you know, exchange stuff.

Meanwhile, I sent an email to BTCChina’s support staff to inquire if I would have similar difficulties trading on their exchange. I’m waiting for their reply.

BTCChina has this message on their website now.

As with Huobi, I had already provided BTCChina with all that when I first opened the account a couple of years ago. Huobi required me to do it all over again, because the name issue I explained yesterday. I’m hoping I don’t have the same hassles with BTC China.

In the meantime, if I want to buy Bitcoin in China, I can still use LocalBitCoins.com or BitKan (a China-based P2P service). While these peer-to-peer services are almost as convenient as the big exchanges, their drawback is the premium traders tack onto their exchange rates, averaging 10% or more on top of the spot price. I can move money between China and the States with PayPal, paying only a 4% service fee for the exchange. So, losing access to the big exchanges would remove one motivation for using Bitcoin to move money across borders — saving on transaction fees (usually less than 2%).

Demand for P2P Bitcoin trading has been sky-high since the government required the major exchanges shut down Bitcoin withdrawals (thereby cutting off a path to move capital abroad) and institute more stringent KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) policies. It’s those new policies I’m dealing with now.

Like every other Bitcoin user in China, I’m in a “wait and see” mode, hoping that the government and the exchanges can work out the kinks in the new system.


Hey, look! There’s that Bitcoin address again for tips. And the PayPal button, too. Feel free to use either!



Also published on Medium.

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